Skip to content

Anxiety and School-Refusal Tips

  • Normalize the experience. Let your child know that he/she is not alone and that other children and adults have similar worries.
  • Provide reasonable reassurance and nurturing.
  • Remove uncertainty - describe the specifics of what to expect at school.
  • If possible, visit the school, classroom, or teacher in advance.
  • Resume routine of bedtimes, wake up and mealtimes that are consistent with the school outline gradually (about two weeks before school starts).
  • Work with the teacher to Allow the child to take an appropriate “transitional
    object” such as a small and unobtrusive soft toy for school for comfort,
    familiarity, and security. The object may stay in the child’s pocket, backpack, or
  • Use role-play to prepare the child for school-related activities such as riding the school bus, entering the school, finding the locker, greet teachers and peers, etc.
  • Help your child identify any triggers and role-play how to handle them.
  • Discuss the positive aspects of school.
  • Set a positive example, role model the behavior the child is expected to learn.

As soon as you allow your child to stay home from school due to anxiety, the bigger you are allowing the anxiety “monster” to grow. Remain consistent in bringing him/her to school. This can be hard for parents, but remember, it is okay to be the “bad guy”. The more your child comes to school, the less anxiety they will experience.