If your tween is suffering from tween school anxiety, there are a few things you can do to help alleviate their stress and fix the problem:
First, discuss fears. Discussing what is causing them to feel anxious about school can be a great way to alleviate the stress associated with the problem. Your child may not appreciate you calling them “fears” as this may make them feel weak or childish, but that is indeed what they are. Instead of calling them fears, ask your child what is “bothering them”, what is “out of whack” or some other familiar way to say ‘what’s going on in there[in their mind]?’
Find out why they do not want to go to school. It might be their classes, insecurities related to their clothes, appearance or the opposite sex; it might also be a shift in popularity from what their social crowd was in elementary school. Whatever is causing them school anxiety can be fixed, but not if you do not discuss it and help them find solutions you can both live with. Encourage open discussions and make it easy for your tween to talk to you. Let them know that you love them but that, whether or not they want to discuss whatever is causing them grief, they are still going to school.
Stressed Out Tween
Second, teach problem solving skills. If you want your child to get over the tween school anxiety they face, teach them some problem solving skills so that they can learn to handle life’s stresses on their own. You can also teach them ways to let go of the stress in their life and help them find things that they enjoy to help relieve stress, such as singing or dancing. You can teach them how to identify and name their fears and problems as well as how to open up and discuss the problems that are causing them school anxiety so that they can rid themselves of those problems. There are many skills and tactics people use for problem solving; helping your tween learn a few of the basics and when to employ them for the best results will help your child tremendously. Sometimes children simply lack the skill to handle the stress of a tougher academic schedule, the social pressures they face and the changes that growing up brings. Help your child get organized and instill self-confidence in them so that they will not fear social situations. Teach them to set goals for themselves so that they have something short-term and long-term to look forward to.
Third, get them excited for school. One of the best ways to alleviate tween school anxiety is to encourage them to get more excited about school which will, in turn, drastically reduce their fear. While they may be nervous about their tougher coarse load and new, difficult classes, they may look forward to wearing their new clothes or playing on a school team. So, do what it takes to get them excited about school. For example, take them back to school shopping for clothes and supplies or help them design a routine that will allow them to get school work done and have fun. Let them join school teams and clubs and buy them the gear and equipment that they will need to play. There are plenty of ways to get your child excited about school so find one that works for your child and help eliminate some of their fears.