This is a 4-page advice sheet for parents and carers on managing school anxiety in children and young people.
The key points are:
- Maintain good communication with the school and work together on strategies to support full attendance.
- Have a united, consistent approach from all adults supporting the child to expect school attendance.
- Establish predictable morning and evening routines.
- Give clear messages that school attendance is not optional and is in the child’s best interests.
- Use planned ignoring of attempts to avoid school and stick to the agreed plan.
- Model confidence in the plan to the child. Seek support from other adults if needed.
- Provide short-term support into school, like taking or accompanying the child, to build good attendance habits.
- Break down tasks into small manageable steps to build confidence.
- Use rewards to motivate facing anxious situations, not to remove the anxiety.
- Encourage the child to try things themselves and persist through the anxiety.
- Support the child in problem solving and planning solutions.
- Identify and address any underlying issues or barriers to attendance.
- Monitor patterns through keeping a diary with the school.
- Support your own mental health and model a calm approach.
It emphasises the importance of quick action, consistent expectations of attendance, facing anxiety-provoking situations, building confidence through small successes, addressing underlying issues, and getting support.
FREE PDF DOWNLOAD OF MANAGING SCHOOL ANXIETY ADVICE FOR PARENTS AND CARERS