There are parenting mistakes that are harmless. When in doubt, ask your pediatrician ||Ask your baby's doctor about vitamin D supplements for the baby, especially if you're breast-feeding ||The AAP recommends sponge baths until the umbilical cord stump falls off — which might take up to three weeks ||A great deal of body heat is lost through a bare head, so make sure your baby wears a hat if she will be in a cold environment ||During growth spurts - around 6 weeks after birth — your newborn might want to be fed more often ||Until your baby is 6 months old, he'll get all the hydration he needs from breast milk or formula, even in hot weather ||The more you help your toddler put his feelings into words (“I’m mad. I want the truck.” “I’m sad. I can’t find my bear.”), the less they will show aggressive behaviour. ||Make sure your baby wears a hat if she will be in a cold environment ||Presumably, your baby won't recall events from his life before age 3. Still, these early experiences outline his vision of the world ||Use each feeding as an opportunity to build your newborn's sense of security, trust and comfort. ||
School Phobia (School Avoidance)


School refusal or school phobia occurs in 5% of children.

 

The problem can be overcome with patience and by trying to understand why the child fears school.

 

Parents should always remember that their school phobic child is going through a hard time and needs all of their support. Working in concert with the school is important too.

 

What causes school phobia?

 

For young children school means spending a lot of time away from home. Not only do children miss home in the school setting, but they are faced with new experiences, challenges and pressures (both social and academic). Some children adapt very nicely into the new environment yet others miss home, a source of anxiety and fear.

 

In some children home or family factors can play a role; for example if there is an illness in the child or family, a recent divorce/separation or if one parent is stressed or depressed. These situations may either cause school phobia or worsen it.

 

Symptoms or signs of school refusal

  • School refusal symptoms usually occur on school days, and are most often absent on weekends and during the summer holidays.They include:
  • Refusal to attend school
  • Creating reasons why not to go to school
  • Frequent complaints about not feeling well with vague or non-specific complaints
  • Crying and yelling at the school gate.
  • In rare cases, school phobic children can complain of chronic physical symptoms including headaches, abdominal pain, nausea or dizziness.
  • Usually no medical cause is found when these complaints are medically Investigated
 

Reasons for school avoidance or school phobia

 

Most school-avoiding children do not know why they are school-phobic, and may have difficulty talking about the source of their anxiety. Aside from difficulty in separating from parents there are some other school-related factors that can cause school avoidance including:

  • Fear of failure
  • Teasing by other children
  • Anxieties over toileting in a public bathroom
  • A perception that teacher and other school personnel are "mean"
  • Threats of physical harm (as from a school bully) or actual physical harm
  • Existing learning difficulties or disabilities
  • Non-school related causes may include the loss of a loved one or moving to another Place.
 

Dealing with school avoidance

 

There is no one magic cure or fix. The most important aspect of dealing with a school phobic child is to find out what the underlying cause is.

Although the cause may be directly school related, in some cases it has to do with home, personal or family issues.

Once the cause has been identified, it is then easier to try to plan a "customized" approach to help the child.

At times it may be necessary to involve not only the school personnel, but a pediatrician and even a psychologist.

The good news is though, that with age, school phobia does improve, and is much less common in older children.


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