Starting school is difficult for everyone involved and can lead to children and parents feeling anxious. Kids, in particular, are very prone to this however. Here are 5 reasons kids become anxious about school and a few ways to help them deal with it.

1.  Fear of failure

Many children have an innate fear of failure. They fear that somehow they will bring shame to their parents if they do not succeed in everything they do. Make sure that you talk to your children, and let them know that you can’t win every race, and there are going to be times where you will lose, and going to be times where you succeed.

2. Not having friends

Starting school or a new school can be a stressful time in regards to meeting new friends. Children may not be used to socialising with a wide variety of people. Make sure that your children are aware of how to make friends at school, and help them through tough times when they feel like you are the only one they can turn to.

3. Test and grade anxiety

With the beginning of school comes testing and grades. Many children, right up to their final year, feel anxiety stemming from grades. Children need to be made aware that while grades are important during school, they are not life-determining things, and there is always the opportunity to do whatever you want.

4. Sporting ability

Let’s face it, not everyone can be sporty, and this alone can make some kids very nervous. Let your children know that not everyone is sporty, and they are not alone in feeling this anxiety.

5. Facing situations on their own

This is a big one. Children have always had their guardians there for them when they had a problem. Now that they are at school though, they have to be a little more creative. They need to sort their own problems out and look after themselves. Making a good group of friends at school can help them greatly, as they will then have people to look to for assistance to problems.
Let us know how your child coped with starting school or even just starting a new school!

Does your child get anxious about school? How do you help them cope with this anxiety? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • I was the same. I hated school. I found exams stressful and I disliked the bitchy carry on at school so i left and got a job. It was the best thing for me.


  • So many subtle signs that we may be missing , definitely need to be mindful of things


  • School can be so harsh and the hardest part is that it can be great one day and crap the next. My kids always feel like talking about school after we’ve had afternoon tea and a wind down at home. it’s great when they can share what’s happened at school so we can talk it through.


  • I just tell my kids to be themselves and I never judge them or punish them for school academics so long as I see the effort they put in to try their best.
    I’ve never had issues with my children not having friends but that breaks my heart that it could be possible. I would love my children to always include someone if they thought they were alone.
    Our school has a buddy seat so kids can sit there if nobody is playing with them to encourage others to include them.


  • Not having friends definitely hard time for them.


  • it was the little things that they worried about most, like remembering where the toilets and lockers were.


  • I remember when my son went to year 2 he hadn’t lost any tooth yet and that was for him reason to feel anxious to start the new school year.
    As our kids grow older (teenagers) it comes with more responsibility’s and choices, which also can be cause of fears.


  • Great article. School can be intimidating for many reasons.


  • I would drop my boys off at school then pick up my mail from the post office before heading home. When I got home I’d find my youngest was back at home. This happened a lot before his class got a new teacher. I took the teacher aside and explained the situation. He immediately solved the problem by talking to my son and asking him to be his go to person if he needed help. From that day onwards my son was first to school and last to leave. No more issues


  • Yes, fear of failure, not having friends, test and grade anxiety, sporting ability, facing situations on their own are all points that can increase our anxiety levels. I would also add bully experiences, conflicts/disagreements with friends and internal issues as impacting.


  • There is so much help available for children with anxiety issues. I hope families can access what they need.


  • My son used to get anxious in the lead-up to a new school year. He is on the spectrum with Aspergers and it was the change and the unknown. So we worked on many things – familiarising him with his teachers, his class mates, would organise a personalised meeting with my hubby, son and I with all of his teachers to work through his challenges. This worked for us.


  • In Grade 2 this year and he hasnt seemed anxious so far, but i believe as he continues through schooling this will definately change!


  • I’m waiting to see how my daughter handles grade 2 this year. Her 2 besties are in the same class together and she is in a different class without any of her close friends. Hopefully they will still play together at lunchtime or she will find some nice friends in her new class. My daughter isn’t showing much anxiety yet…Hopefully she will remember what we spoke about – great teacher and a couple of friends from her prep class are in her new class, so she isn’t totally alone.


  • Not having friends and big expectations from other will be the biggest fear


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