After an eventful start to the calendar year, school is back in action for another exciting year. Some of your children may have been chomping at the bit to get back to their routines, and meet their new teachers and classmates, whilst others have been grumbling about their summer holiday ending and having to start doing homework again. But what do you do, if your child does neither, and actually hates school?

Many children never really enjoy going to class and doing homework, but they generally get on with it and it rarely becomes a focal point in their lives. As for the children who genuinely feel their stomachs drop as Monday morning creeps closer, it’s important to identify the possible reasons why they may be so adverse to going to school.

Anxiety and learning difficulties can be among the more common reasons why children dread school. Fortunately there are things you can do as parents to address these issues and help your child to start enjoying life more.

Anxiety, be it separation anxiety, performance anxiety or the general fear of the unknown, is one of the most common reasons why children start hating school. It most frequently occurs during times of family stress or when there is a lot of change going on in the child’s life. Experts say that the best way to combat this anxiety is for parents to be aware of how they themselves respond to it. It is possible that parents may unwittingly feed their child’s fears, by pandering to the problem instead of instilling confidence in their child overcoming it. Parents need to make sure they are not subliminally reaffirming to their children, that there is in fact something to be scared of.

With regards to other types of anxieties, the best way to deal with them is to equip your children. Often the simplest adjustments can empower your children. The important thing is to identify where the fear is coming from. Perhaps your child gets anxious each time their teacher directs a question at them during a lesson. Upon further investigation you might discover that the problem is not that your child doesn’t know how to respond, but rather that due to them sitting at the back of the classroom, they can’t always hear the teacher clearly for example.

Regardless of why your child may start hating school, the most important thing, is to communicate with them and the school. Ask them questions, show an interest in their experiences and always be aware not too inadvertently reaffirm their fears, but rather allay them by equipping and empowering them.