School Fear: Causes And Origins

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School Fear: Causes And Origins
School Fear: Causes And Origins
Video: School Fear: Causes And Origins
Video: Turning Fear into Power: Understanding and managing anxiety - Longwood Seminar 2023, February

School fear: causes and origins

The causes of fear are many. One reason to develop fear can be a change of school - for example by moving or switching to a new type of school (e.g. high school). Excessive demands, bullying, etc. can also lead to fear of school. Of course there can be many other causes behind school anxiety.

The school and class atmosphere has a decisive influence on the well-being of students. It is not only the rooms that play an important role, but also the interpersonal relationships (e.g. between peers or children / young people and teaching staff). If the child is embarrassed or exposed, for example, fear of school can develop over the long term. As a parent, you should be a good point of contact and, if necessary, talk to the teaching staff quickly.


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  • Change of school as a challenge
  • Fear and excessive demands
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  • Other causes

Change of school as a challenge

If a parent needs to change location because of a new job, it often takes a while for the offspring to get used to the changed circumstances. Much is new - and friends want to be found again. The grief that the old ones are not there is a natural process that should also be given space.

Moving to secondary school can raise just as many questions and fears: What can I expect? Will I find a connection etc.? Social contacts that last for years are helpful - going to school together connects people. It is important to take these questions and fears seriously and also to address them. An open house or other ways of preparing for the new type of school can calm and arouse interest.

Fear and excessive demands

Not only adults are often under stress or fear of failure, but also children. There can be a lot of pressure or a tense atmosphere at school. Doing sports in addition to school, learning a musical instrument or taking private lessons is also not uncommon these days. There are also family tensions, such as those that can arise when parents separate or in newly reunited blended families.

Sometimes there are high expectations of each other within the family - for a variety of reasons, for example the requirement to get particularly good grades. In this case, it often helps to keep ideas realistic and to take into account the wishes and needs of the other - even if these may differ from your own. You can find more information under School Stress & Co.


Fear of school can also arise if you feel alone there (hardly has any friends, etc.) or hostility occurs (e.g. bullying). School isn't the only place to make friends. Of course, teachers can try to improve team behavior in the class and thereby facilitate or deepen social contacts. But there are also many opportunities to make friends outside of school - for example in sports clubs. If a child becomes a victim of bullying, quick action is required. For more information, see Violence and Bullying.

Other causes

Some feelings are not perceived directly as fear or carried outwards, but are expressed, for example, as aggression. Conversely, it can be that something appears as fear, but in reality there is another emotion - for example sadness - behind it. Crying and being sad are not taken for granted everywhere. Grief can therefore often “build up” and show a different face.

Of course, fear of school can also hide many other causes that need to be found out individually - such as a social phobia. With this, the child is afraid of attracting attention in public or in front of others. There have been problems in the for a long time

School, diagnoses such as ADHD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Mutism, or Social Adjustment Disorder are sometimes made. Traumatic experiences of any kind also provide a breeding ground for fears to arise. These include, for example, serious life-threatening illnesses, experiences of violence, etc. In these cases, rapid professional and legal help is necessary.

Asking for support is often not easy - neither adults nor children. The sooner it seems "normal" in a family to ask for help, the more natural it will also appear to the offspring. Sometimes it's not about big problems at all, just about help with homework.

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