Back to school anxiety: what is it?

Back September 14th, 2017

Every September millions of children return to school after a lengthy summer break. However, for both children and parents, this time of year can produce a lot of stress. Psychologist Emma Kenny has referred to it as back to school syndrome, reports the Daily Mail; however, what exactly is this type of anxiety and what causes it?

More than just a sadness

Back to school anxiety might initially seem self-explanatory, but it can manifest itself in complex ways. Some parents could simply feel sad that the home life to which they have grown accustomed is seeing a major change with their children now spending much more of their time at school.

In 2015, one mother from Surrey’s New Malden told the Daily Mail of feeling very emotional about her four-year-old son Arthur beginning primary school. Lily Sandland, then 28, explained: “It means he won’t be at home every day and I will miss him like mad.” However, for other parents, the return of the school routine can bring a mood worse than mere sadness.

Examples of major worries that school can bring

In August 2014, ITV show This Morning arranged for a survey of 2,000 parents whose children were aged 5-16. This brought to light numerous eye-opening statistics – including that school’s looming return had provoked anxiety in the children of 48% of these parents.

Meanwhile, 60% of parents reported their fears of bullying; almost a third said that their child had already been bullied. Over a quarter of the parents said that exams had made their children stressed, while nearly half reported anxiety hampering their children’s sleep.

Secondary school can bring very particular worries; for instance, the greater amount of work necessary for children to undertake there was a major concern for many parents in This Morning‘s survey. 26% of respondents also worried about their offspring travelling to secondary school alone.

How we can help you tackle back to school anxiety

As is clear, then, neither parents nor their little ones are entirely immune from back to school anxiety. It is very much an issue for the whole family to tackle; however, if you experience from this type of anguish, we are at hand to provide support and advice.

We can be reached, for example, through our infoline on 03444 775 774; this is available from 9:30am to 5:30pm on Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

You can also take out a Family Membership of Anxiety UK. This package brings various materials that can be useful for helping to relieve tension in both children and adults. Benefits available to parents and children – foster children not exempt – include cut-price therapy and access to specialist support over email and via our helpline.

To obtain a Family Membership and that comprehensive package, you have an option of paying £50 yearly or £100 every three years. Whichever of these options you select, we hope that we can greatly assist in relieving many of your jitters associated with the return of the school year.

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