School Refusal or Separation Anxiety

  • The first day of school may be a very exciting and happy time for many students. However for some who are attending school for the first time or those that have become accustom to spending a great deal of time with mom/dad at home over the summer, this can be a very difficult time filled with anxiety, stress and fear.
    • Does your son or daughter have a difficult time leaving your side when visiting friends or family members?
    • Are constant worries, lack of sleep, and crying a part of the night and morning routine leading up to the school day?
      If so, your child may be dealing with reactions of what is sometimes referred to as School Refusal or Separation Anxiety.
    School Refusal is very common issue for many young students each year.
    As the school year begins, this exciting time can bring with it many different types of feelings and emotions for both children and their families. Here is some additional information surrounding this issue to assist you and your student.

    Warning Signs
    • Changes in sleep/eating habits
    • Makes excuses to miss school
    • Increased physical complaints (stomachaches/headaches)
    • Increased emotional outbursts
    Mr. Resh’s Top Tips
    • Relax! (Kids feed off parents’ emotions/behaviors).
    • Establish a consistent routine (sleep/eating).
    • Set and talk about realistic expectations. Let your children know exactly what is going to happen.
    • Consult with Mr. Resh and the classroom teacher, so that we can check-in and help with the transition.
    What Not To Do
    • Allow your son/daughter to stay home without an actual physical/medical aliment/symptom. The longer this occurs the harder it may become for him/her to feel comfortable coming to school.
    • Panic Yourself: Again, Kids feed off your emotions/behaviors.
    Reading Resources
    There are many stories that relate to the feelings/emotions surrounding the transition to school and the anxiety this may cause as there is a separation from parents and home. Reading these books to your son/daughter on a regular basis and discussing the story afterwords are great resources in helping him/her cope with these feelings. Here are some of my favorites:
    • The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
    • Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
    • Don’t Be Afraid to Drop by Julie Cook
    • Jake Starts School by Michael Wright
    • Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin
    • Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney
    Click here for additional information and resources.