What is Scolionophobia, Its Symptomps & Treatment?


Scolionophobia is the fear of school. It is a disorder that affects some kids, making them nervous or scared when they think about or attend school. This fear can be triggered by various factors such as separation from parents, social interactions with classmates, academic pressures, or past negative experiences.

It is important to understand that every child is unique, and their experiences with fear of school can vary. If a kid is experiencing this fear, it is important to create a supportive and understanding atmosphere. Encouraging open communication, discussing their concerns, and involving teachers and school staff can help address their anxieties. Parents and teachers must know about some helpful effective coping tips, symptoms and the reason behind this disorder.

Also Read: Tips to help kids crack the first school interview

Causes of Scolionophobia:

Separation anxiety:

When toddlers are removed from their main loved ones, especially those who have spent little time away from their parents, they may feel separation anxiety. Going to school, where kids will be separated from their parents, could increase this worry.

Social anxiety:

Some children may feel anxious about social interactions with their peers. They may be nervous about making friends or being accepted by other students. This nervousness might make going to school stressful.

Bullying or negative experiences:

Past experiences of bullying, teasing, or negative interactions at school can create a fear response in children. Traumatic experiences can make them associate school with fear, leading to fear of school.

Learning difficulties:

Children who have learning difficulties or who struggle with keeping up academically with their classmates can become stressed or frightened about coming to school. The fear of falling behind or being unable to meet expectations can contribute to scolionophobia.

Family issues:

Problems within the family, such as conflicts at home, divorce, or major life changes, can impact a child’s emotional well being. These external factors can manifest as fear or anxiety related to attending school.

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Symptoms of school phobia:

Children with scolionophobia, or the fear of school, may exhibit various symptoms that can vary in intensity and duration. Here are some common symptoms associated with fear of school.

1. Physical symptoms:

Children experiencing scolionophobia may display physical signs of anxiety or distress. Headaches, stomach aches, nausea, dizziness, sweating, vibrating, fast pulse, shortness of breath, and even panic attacks are examples of symptoms. These physical symptoms may arise when the child is thinking about or preparing to go to school.

2. Emotional distress:

Scolionophobia can cause emotional distress in children. They may feel intense fear, worry, or dread when faced with the idea of going to school. They may become tearful, irritable, or moody, expressing a strong desire to avoid school altogether. They may also feel powerless, depressed, or a sense of doom approaching as a result of school related activities.

3. Behavioural changes:

Children with scolionophobia may exhibit behavioural changes as a result of their fear. They may try to avoid school by complaining of illness or inventing excuses to stay home. They might refuse to get ready for school, throw tantrums, or become clingy and reluctant to separate from their parents or caregivers. They may also show a decline in academic performance or have difficulty concentrating in class.

4. Social withdrawal:

Scolionophobia can lead to social withdrawal and avoidance of social interactions at school. The child may isolate themselves from peers, experience difficulty making friends, or be reluctant to participate in group activities or classroom discussions. They may feel self-conscious, fear judgement or ridicule, or have a general discomfort in social situations at school.

5. Sleep disturbances:

Anxiety related to scolionophobia can disrupt a child’s sleep patterns. They may have difficulty in falling asleep, often experience nightmares, or wake up feeling restless or fatigued. The fear and worry associated with school can make it challenging for them to relax and have a restful night’s sleep.

Also Read: 10 reasons why you should enrol your child to international preschool

How To Overcome School Phobia:

Here are some strategies specifically tailored for primary school and secondary education students to help them overcome school refusal:

  1. Take the time to listen to your child’s worries and fears about school. Validate their feelings and assure them that their concerns are valid. Understanding their specific concerns will help you address them more effectively.
  2. Create a structured morning routine that includes specific tasks related to getting ready for primary/secondary school. Encourage your child to follow the routine consistently, as it provides a sense of stability and predictability, easing their anxiety.
  3. Create an open and supportive atmosphere at home where your child feels comfortable discussing their concerns. Encourage open communication and provide reassurance that you are there to support them throughout the school day.
  4. Gradually reintroduce your child to primary/secondary education. Begin by accompanying them to the school gate or classroom and gradually increase the time spent at school. This gradual exposure helps build their confidence and reduces their fear and reluctance.
  5. Acknowledge and celebrate your child’s efforts in attending secondary and primary school. Offer praise, encouragement, and small rewards for their bravery and perseverance. Positive reinforcement reinforces their motivation and increases their willingness to attend school.
  6. Encourage your child to build positive relationships with their classmates. Organise play dates or social activities outside of primary school/secondary school hours, providing opportunities for them to develop friendships and a support network. Positive peer relationships can make the school environment more enjoyable and less intimidating.
  7. Maintain regular communication with your child’s primary/secondary education teachers and administrators. Inform them about your child’s school refusal and work together to develop a plan to support your child’s needs. Teachers can provide additional support, offer accommodations, and monitor your child’s progress at school.

Also Read: How to Adjust to a New School


At EuroSchool, we understand that school phobia can be a distressing experience for both children and their parents. Overcoming scolionophobia takes time and patience. Be supportive, provide reassurance, and celebrate each step forward. Not every child’s experience is the same. Remember, patience, empathy, and open communication are key in helping your child navigate through school phobia and reclaim their educational journey with confidence and joy.

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