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How can I help my dd with anxiety about school?

(10 Posts)
ihatethecold Tue 13-Sep-16 06:58:29

She's just started year 8 and is struggling with anxiety.
The school is a very good one for getting good results.
I feel it can be like a machine.
My ds16 left last June so I've been through 5 years already.

She isn't eating all day until she comes home because she says her stomach has knots in it.
She won't eat breakfast before she goes in the morning.
This is also having a knock on effect of her not being able to concentrate and she's been told off for this.

Her worry with school is she hates having to speak in class. She hates being put on the spot and it's got so bad she was crying last night.

She is a really lovely girl who is very pleasant to be around, very much a glass half full person, always has a smile for you.

She is becoming a glass half empty person and I hate to see her sad and anxious.

I'm going to email the teacher and ask to go in but I'm worried they will dismiss her feelings.

Can anyone give me some advice?

Brontebiscuits Tue 13-Sep-16 07:01:49

Has the school got pastoral care? They should really take this seriously. Anxiety in children is increasing and they should have some kind of system to deal with it.

Ireallydontseewhy Tue 13-Sep-16 07:14:39

Does the school have in house counselling - could you ask if dd could use that? There should be a head of pastoral care, or head of year, or similar, at the school, and i would have thought they would be fairly used to this type of problem, so should have a strategy for dealing with it as pp says. You may have to push a bit for help but i would be surprised if they openly dismiss her feelings outright.
Sympathies to your dd (and you!) - this must be a very difficult time!

PrincessHairyMclary Tue 13-Sep-16 07:16:22

Anxiety in high school children is unfortunately very common. Have a chat with the pastoral team and her head of year/house.

We often get emails asking us not to put students on the spot, many teachers use table answers so one person speaks on behalf of the table or they use whiteboards to show their answers.

In the long term could you enrol her in a Drama group, this can be really helpful as children play a character so often don't feel the same about speaking in front of everyone. Unfortunately being put on the spot is part of life (job interviews etc) and its best to develop coping strategies now.

ihatethecold Tue 13-Sep-16 07:22:21

Thank you everyone.
I was always very confident at school so I want to make sure I help her the best way I can.

She seems to enjoy drama at school.
We did try stagecoach a few years ago but she didn't enjoy it.

I will send a note in this morning and try see the appropriate person soon.

Her much older DB25 has very severe depression and anxiety (he doesn't live at home)
Trying to help him is hard enough and I really want to try help her before it becomes a major issue.

TeenAndTween Tue 13-Sep-16 08:44:16

This may seem a bit drastic, but is there another school you could consider.

A 'machine' school doesn't on the sound of it feel like a good fit for a girl struggling with anxiety.

ihatethecold Tue 13-Sep-16 10:07:34

I agree but we are quite rural and she does have lots of friends at school.
I would consider private school next year if we cant get her the right sort of care.

It will be a struggle financially but its something to consider.

I suppose i'm going to be testing their pastoral care to see if they can deliver and not just be about exam results.

HeyMacWey Tue 13-Sep-16 13:18:06

Might it be worth having a chat with the gp or seeing if there are any organisations that offer cbt/counselling for teens.

t875 Wed 14-Sep-16 16:43:07

I would try get her to eat something in the morning our dd went through this and it really affected her lessons in the morning so we went through a stage of making sure she had b fast. We got her to chose what she wanted even a couple of biscuits some mornings. Try get her to have a glass of milk or a cup of tea with a sugar. All the best for her. Great advise from all above x

ihatethecold Thu 15-Sep-16 07:00:14

The school have been great.
The firm teacher contacted me the same day to discuss it.
My DD went to speak to the school nurse yesterday who then called me to say what they have suggested, they have given her a place to go, and she can take a friend when she feels anxious.
She is eating her sandwich at lunchtime again and she had a small smoothie before going.
I alway offer a few small things before school but I won't make her eat if she can't.
Thanks for all your comments.
It's much appreciated

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