School anxiety after Lockdown
Berriesandpeaches · 17/01/2021 16:58
I am hoping you can help me please as I am struggling and not sure how to support my son.
My son is 7 and in year 3. Turned 7 in July so one of the young ones in the year group. Prior to the 1st lockdown he was flourishing in school and doing extremely well. In top sets for everything. Then Lockown happened and the whole home school palava happened. My husband and I are both keyworkers but decided to make it work between us so we could keep them kids at home. I have another child a10 year old daughter as well.
Anyway roll on September new year new teacher and different part of the school move from infants to juniors.There was no breakfast club or afterschool club things that he was used to and no mixing with other children - bubbles etc. He struggled with the adjustment and looking back now I feel I should have prepared him more but hind sight is such a wonderful thing.
Fast forward a few weeks into school my son has turned into a nervous anxious little boy who is afraid of EVERYTHING. Out of my two children he was the most confident and outgoing one. He is now a shadow of himself. Went to see his teacher as I was concerned and wanted to nip it in the bud. She explained how he gets frightened in class and cries when he gets things wrong. No confidence and no self belief. Was told to encourage him that it was ok to get things wrong and the most important thing is that he tried.
Spoke to him about it and re- assured him. He opened up to me and said how I always wanted him to get everything correct 10/10 and would shout if he did. Never realised I did that - I know I pushed with his spellings as we always practised them at home so maybe I am to blame for what is happening. I have stopped shouting this was October time and now praise alot.
Things deteriorated even further before Christmas to extent where his anxiety would cause him to have a running tummy before we left home . He stopped having breakfast in the morning. Mondays are particularly bad the worst actually and the rest of the week is bad. I tried to not give in to it and would carry on with business s usual - most probably worst mistake.My heart was so sore seeing him like this but I tried reassuring him every morning that things would be fine and did not dwell on it too much. He says no one is bullying him etc but worries about new things they do in class and getting things wrong. Also he reports that he has no friends although I have seen him chatting with other children when I pick him up after school.
Today I suggested that it would be good for him to go into school this week as I can no longer work from home and husband already works in a hospital and he absolutely broke down. The fear in his eyes broke my heart. I am afraid now that when schools open he will struggle even more. Right now there are a few children going in and he will transition slowly but the terror in his eyes has got me thinking it's not a good idea. He has begged me to take him when schools properly open and wants to stay at home.
I really don't know what to do to support him. He is engaging well with the online lessons at home but you can see him tense up at the start of the live lessons and only relax afterwards or towards the end.
Apologies for the long essay but I wanted to give a full picture as possible.
Any suggestions you can give me will be greatly appreciated.
Please help me on how I can manage his anxiety. It's crippling him and I am losing my son right in front of my eyes.
chloworm · 17/01/2021 17:14
I would keep him home for now. He's still very young and it does sound like he isn't coping with the changes in schools atm. He could have some general Covid-related anxiety (social distancing, extra hand sanitising, worry about people getting sick etc.) and probably just needs his loving home and family to help him through. When my boy was having problems at school (before pandemic), the best thing I did was offer lots of love and cuddles and take the pressure off regarding academic work. Things gradually got better. Give it a try but don't be worried about asking for help from school. You need to be on the same page. It breaks your heart doesn't it?You sound like a kind and caring parent so just do what you do best - offer love and stability.
Ugzbugz · 18/01/2021 04:58
Yeah defo back off, if he has a few days off school at this point it's going to make no difference, so many children cant or wont be doing anything so they will have tonge over everything anyway, just do some reading,maths and spellings and go for a walk, its honestly not worth the upset for now, they will have to catch these children up somehow.
PinkyParrot · 18/01/2021 05:37
Can you get out in the countryside a bit. Playing in woods and fields away from everyone, a short distance away from you. I come across DCs who cling to you and the footpath when out. Just my view that being adventurous out of doors improves confidence.
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