EMOTIONAL BASED SCHOOL AVOIDANCE
The most common way of managing anxiety is avoidance. When we avoid the anxious situation, we get an immediate relief. However, this is only a short-term solution as when we face the situation the next time the anxiety reaction is much greater due to the increased anticipation of the event. This happens in EBSA. Children who are anxious about attending school get an immediate sense of relief when they avoid school, however the fear of attending the next day is then much greater. They are then even more likely to avoid school again. This is called an avoidance cycle.
See the image below as an example of how the avoidance cycle can increase anxiety:
Instead of using avoidance to cope with feeling overwhelmed, we need to support our CYP to:
- Recognise the triggers of their anxiety
- Identify small steps they feel they can take
- Have ways they can calm themselves when they are starting to feel anxious.
This will help them deal with stressful situations throughout life and not become overwhelmed or avoid the things they find challenging
Helpful Books and Guidance
- Starving the Anxiety Gremlin by Kate Collins-Donnelly
- Think Good-Feel Good by Paul Stallard
- The Huge Bag of Worries by Virginia Ironside
- Don’t Worry Be Happy by Poppy O’Neill
- The Anxiety Workbook for Kids by Robin Alter
- The Worry Workbook for Kids Muniya S Khanna
- You are Awesome book and Journal by Matthew Syed
- What to do when you worry too much by Dawn Huebner
Sometimes we may get cross with the people we love and not be able to help it.
What can we do about it?
If we feel that we are not in control of things, our emotions take over and we may regret it later. If you know you are beginning to become cross or angry, there are tips below that may help.
This is called a grounding exercise:
1) Look around you – find 5 things that you can see
2) 4 things that you can feel
3) 3 things that you can hear
4) 2 things you can smell
5) 1 thing you can taste – this could be a sweet!
Or you could try breathing to relax. This exercise is called 4-7-8:
1) Inhale for a count of 4
2) Hold for a count of 7
3) Exhale for a count of 8
If you need someone to talk to and you can’t chat about the problem to your parent/carer, there is help from:
Childline 0800 1111 (free) chat to a counsellor 1-1. This number is private and confidential.
Kooth 020 3984 9337 (free) age 11/24, chat 1-1 for help with emotional/mental health support which is private and confidential.
Mental health support/medical help is also free on the NHS. For urgent help call 111.
Take a step to better mental and physical health website
Advice for PARENTS on how to support their child's mental wellbeing
Advice for CHILDREN on how they can support their own mental wellbeing