8 Causes of School Phobia and What to Do About Them

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION  from the Florida Jewish News, pp. 16, 22. Screams echo down the hall. Raised voices escalate in pitch. Enough already! Get this child to school! But she won’t go. You would think that two intelligent adults could figure out how to get an eight-year old to school without all that hysteria, wouldn’t you? Guess again. If only life were that simple. The problem is that it’s not a matter of being more intelligent than your child because the problem has nothing whatsoever to do with intelligence. It’s about feelings. And unless you understand the heart of your child, you’ve lost the game. This article is about heart. If a child won’t go to school, the reason is frequently called School Phobia, and its essence could be fear, fear of something going on at school. But that may not be the only reason a child resists going to school. It could also be fear of what is going on behind his back at home. Alternatively, it could have nothing whatsoever to do with fear, but rather with gaps in parenting. Let’s look at all of these possibilities, starting with true School Phobia: Bullying Bullying has been a sleeper problem until recently. Thank God people are waking up to the severity and damage of this formerly hidden torture. Research indicates that it occurs worldwide with a higher prevalence in the schools than you would think: Between one child in twelve and one in fifteen report multiple acts of having been bullied in any given school term. Violence, threats of violence, extortion, put-downs, other verbal abuse, and exclusion from...
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