If your child is struggling in school, anxiety might be to blame. While not all children who struggle in school have anxiety, it certainly can be the cause of slipping grades or poor peer relationships. Your child with anxiety may have trouble concentrating, paying attention, or even sitting still during class times. You may find that your child has frequent absences due to headaches or stomach aches, or other related health problems. All of these challenges may mean your child’s anxiety is affecting his or her school academics.
Anxiety leads to many social issues (Lesley Scott)
At the toddler stage, children are still reaching developmental milestones that may be affected by anxiety. By the age of 3, a child should be well on their way to learning the skills to interact and participate in activities with other children. They should also be taking part in activities that require coordination and good gross motor function. If your child is extremely anxious, they may be unwilling to participate in these important activities. Ongoing separation anxiety may also make it difficult for your child to attend daycare or nursery school.
In school it is important for your child’s educators to be able to recognize the signs of anxiety and take care not to interpret them as a behavioral or learning disorder related. Anxiety may make your child fearful of attending school due to the social or academic pressure they feel. A child with separation anxiety will be fearful of being apart from their caregivers, a socially anxious child will struggle with social interactions and group participation, and if your child has generalized anxiety, they may worry about all aspects of their school performance. Ongoing anxiety may make learning difficult as their bodies are unable to relax and focus on the tasks at hand. Both short term and long term memory may also be affected by ongoing anxiety.
Anxiety causes lack of sleep (Tiffany Cook)
The biggest way anxiety affects a child’s academics is that it can cause sleep deprivation, or lack of sleep. This leaves your child with the inability to focus on the assignment or test itself and with the inability to concentrate on the task at hand. This causes something that should take a short time to be extremely tedious and time-consuming. Also, extreme fatigue can weaken your child’s immune system so that she feels tired or sick. Getting sick can cause her to miss too many days of school, and falling asleep in class would cause an interruption in the fluency of learning as your student would miss the opportunity to hear the class lecture, take notes, and ask questions of the instructor, which are beneficial if learning is to take place.
Academic struggles are a result of anxiety (Amanda Whittington)
Anxiety can be the cause of academic struggles and failures. Children with anxiety have impaired memory and cognitive function, which makes it more difficult for them to learn and retain information. There is a correlation between anxiety and disruptive behaviors, as well as a correlation between greater anxiety and poorer academic achievements.
Anxiety related to academic achievement is much more prevalent in adolescence than in early childhood. The struggle with anxiety is that it is a “hidden disability,” meaning without education and frequent communication, teachers may be unaware of anxiety in their students. Helping teachers to understand the challenges of childhood anxiety in your child will help your child get more out of their education.
More importantly anxiety affects his daily life (Kereth Harris)
Anxiety does not always affect a child’s academics. In our case, school work wasn’t the cause of his anxiety. However, saying that, the school playground proved a very difficult place for him to negotiate and that in turn created anxiety. Anxiety can sometimes affect academics for kids, but most importantly it affects their daily life. Your child’s life and their ability to function fully is probably the biggest victim in the struggle with anxiety, closely followed by the whole family living with an anxious child. That really is the tough bit. Academics can be remediated once the anxiety is controlled and managed. Your child’s mental health is more important than a grade in a box.