Is your student missing school due to anxiety?
Posted on 10/12/2023
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Sometimes, not wanting to attend school on a regular basis can be a sign that something else is going on with your student. If your student reports symptoms such as headaches or stomach aches, this may be a sign of anxiety, rather than physical illness. If the issue is anxiety, staying home from school can make things worse.

Common Signs of Anxiety:

  • Feeling tired, irritable or easily tearful
  • Having trouble separating from parents or caregivers
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Headaches, stomach aches and loss of appetite
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Avoidance of activities or places that we once enjoyed

What Can Families Do?

  • Avoid letting your student stay home. Staying home may provide short-term relief but can make things worse in the long run.
    • When students miss school, their friendships and social skills weaken, often creating fear of social situations.
    • Their academic skills also worsen which can lead to low motivation and self-esteem.
    • They can get behind in school work which creates more anxiety about re-entering the school site.
  • Ask questions and offer support.
    • Ask your student what they’re feeling and try to understand what’s bothering them.
    • Emphasize that feeling anxious and nervous isn’t a permanent feeling. Use your own experience as an example.
    • Be their advocate, especially if bullying is part of the problem.

Your physician can help assess whether your student is experiencing anxiety or a physical illness. Please visit our Attendance website and our Mental Health and Wellness website for more information and resources.