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How to help child overcome fear of school
Overcoming Schol Phobia by Leah Davies, M.Ed.
By Leah Davies, M.Ed.
School phobia, school avoidance and school refusal
are terms that describe an anxiety disorder in children
who have an irrational, persistent fear of going to
school. Their behavior is different from children who
are truant and express no apprehension about missing
school. Children who have school avoidance want to
be in close contact with their parent or caregiver,
whereas truants do not. School phobic children are
often insecure, sensitive, and do not know how to cope
with their emotions. They appear anxious and may become
physically ill at the thought of attending school.
Normal separation anxiety typically occurs between
18 to 24 months. Children this age may cling, cry and/or
have temper tantrums when they are separated from their
parent. However, some older children continue to have
difficulty being away from home. The parents of these
children are often attentive and loving, but may be
overprotective. As a result some students lack self-confidence
and the ability to cope with school life. A child who
shows a higher risk for school phobia is one who has
no siblings, the youngest child or a chronically ill
Most children object to going to school at one time
or another. However, a school phobic child often misses
many days for vague reasons. Parents should be concerned
if their child appears irrationally anxious, depressed,
scared, and/or regularly says that he or she feels
too sick to attend class.
Symptoms of school phobia are:
Frequent stomachaches and other physical
complaints such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, exhaustion,
headaches that cannot be attributed to a physical
Clinginess, tantrums, and/or panic when required
to separate from a parent or caregiver.
the dark or being in a room alone.
to sleep and/or having nightmares.
of animals, monsters, school, etc.
concerning the safety of self or others.
Both home and school issues need to be considered
when searching for the reasons that contribute
to school avoidance.
Home Issues: A child may…
Be experiencing a family change like
a move, illness, separation, divorce, death,
depression, or financial problems.
absent from school due to a long illness.
a parent's undivided attention when not in school.
Be allowed to watch television, play video
games or with toys rather than complete schoolwork.
Have an overprotective parent who reinforces
the idea that being away from him or her could
Be apprehensive of an impending tragedy
Fear an adult at home might hurt a
family member while the child is at school.
afraid of neighborhood violence, storms, floods,
School Issues: A child
Fear criticism, ridicule, confrontation or
punishment by a teacher or other school personnel.
Have learning difficulties -- for example,
afraid to read aloud, take tests, receive poor
be called on to answer questions or perform
on a stage.
Be afraid of not making perfect test scores.
Be sensitive to a school activity such as singing
a certain song, playing a specific game, attending
a school assembly, eating in a lunchroom,
or changing clothes for physical education in front of peers.
athletic ability, being chosen last for a team
or being ridiculed for not performing well.
teasing due to appearance, clothes, weight, height,
Feel socially inadequate due to poor social
Be a victim of peer bullying
during school, walking to or from school, or
on the school bus. (see Educator's Guide to Bullying).
Receive threats of physical harm.
adjusting to a new school (see Helping Children
Cope with School Transitions).
issues concerning the use of a school restroom.
Be environmentally sensitive to new carpet,
fragrant cleaning supplies and/or poorly ventilated
Usually, school refusal lasts only
a short time, especially if a parent insists
on school attendance.
However, if the problem
school personnel will be necessary to form a unified home and
school approach. If
ignored, chronic school phobias can result in the deterioration
of academic performance,
peer relationships, work quality, and possibly lead to adult
anxiety, panic attacks, or psychiatric disorders. Therefore,
of a child with
must be addressed early so that his or her fears can be abated.
The essential steps are recognizing the problem, discovering
causes for the child's discomfort, and working with school professionals
the difficulty. Parents need to view themselves as part of a
team working together for the good of their child.
What can parents do?
1. Have a physician examine
the child to determine if he or she has a legitimate
2. Listen to the child talk about school to detect
any clues as to why he or she does not want to
3. Talk to the child's teacher, school psychologist, and/or school
counselor to share concerns.
4. Together determine a possible cause or causes for school avoidance.
5. Develop an appropriate plan of action to modify the school
and home environments to help the child adjust to school.
Ideas for School Modifications
Have the teacher
or other school professional, such as the school
counselor, establish a caring relationship
with the child.
Arrange for a school staff member
greet the parent and child at the door
and take the child to the class.
Discuss the situation with
the school nurse who can attend to the child's
complaints and then return him or her to class.
Help the child
build self-confidence by discovering his or her
strengths and by providing opportunities for
the child to excel.
Identify particular activities
the child enjoys doing and those that produce
Monitor bullying activities that may
be taking place.
Include the student in a friendship
group facilitated by the school counselor.
work assignments to match the student's academic
Have a child with poor academic skills
tested for special education services.
behavior contract to be reinforced with a reward
such as a sticker (see Rewards in the Classroom).
Ideas Concerning Home Modifications
child in overcoming his or her fear by gradually
increasing exposure to it.
Eliminate any "fun" activities
at home when school is in session.
Have the parent
who is better at encouraging attendance take
the child to school.
Use a car pool or include
a peer to accompany the child.
Read books which
encourage the expression of feelings and teach
coping skills such as Kelly Bear Feelings. Role
and discuss various ways to relate to others.
Provide play dates with classmates
to encourage friendships.
Attend school related
Reassure the child that the family
will be safe through hugs, kind words and positive
Teach the child relaxation techniques
(see Helping Children Cope with Worries).
constructively with family concerns and parenting
issues, perhaps with the assistance of a mental
The goal is to have the child return to school
and attend class daily. In the best case
scenario, the student's confidence
of school will increase
when a plan is implemented and changes are made. However,
the school phobia
is extreme, a therapist or psychiatrist's assistance
may be necessary.
Used by permission of the author,
Leah Davies, and selected from the Kelly Bear website [www.kellybear.com],
School avoidance – sometimes called school refusal or school phobia – is not uncommon and occurs in as many as 5% of children. These children may outright refuse to attend school or create reasons why they should not go.
They may miss a lot of school, complaining of not feeling well, with vague, unexplainable symptoms. Many of these children have anxiety-related symptoms over which they have no conscious control. Perhaps they have headaches, stomachaches, hyperventilation, nausea or dizziness. In general, more clear-cut symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, fever or weight loss, which are likely to have a physical basis, are uncommon.
School refusal symptoms occur most often on school days, and are usually absent on weekends. When these children are examined by a doctor, no true illnesses are detected or diagnosed. However, since the type of symptoms these children complain of can be caused by a physical illness, a medical examination should usually be part of their evaluation.
Most often, school-avoiding children do not know precisely why they feel ill, and they may have difficulty communicating what is causing their discomfort or upset.
When school-related anxiety is causing school avoidance, the symptoms may be ways to communicate emotional struggle with issues like:
Fear of failure
Problems with other children (for instance, teasing because they are "fat" or "short")
Anxieties over toileting in a public bathroom
A perceived "meanness" of the teacher
Threats of physical harm (as from a school bully)
Actual physical harm
Tips for Concerned Parents:
As a first step, the management of school avoidance involves an examination by a doctor who can rule out physical illness and assist the parents in designing a plan of treatment. Once physical illness has been eliminated as a cause of the child's symptoms, the parents' efforts should be directed not only at understanding the pressures the child is experiencing but also at getting him or her back in school.
Here are some guidelines for helping your child overcome this problem:
Talk with your childabout the reasons why he or she does not want to go to school. Consider all the possibilities and state them. Be sympathetic, supportive, and understanding of why he or she is upset. Try to resolve any stressful situations the two of you identify as causing his worries or symptoms.
Acknowledge that you understand your child's concerns, but insist on his or her immediate return to school. The longer your child stays home, the more difficult his or her eventual return will be. Explain that he or she is in good health and his or her physical symptoms are probably due to concerns other things – perhaps about grades, homework, relationships with teachers, anxieties over social pressure or legitimate fears of violence at school. Let your child know that school attendance is required by law. He or she will continue to exert some pressure upon you to stay home, but you must remain determined to get your child back in school.
Discuss your child's school avoidance with the school staff, including his or her teacher, the principal, and the school nurse. Share with them your plans for your child's return to school and enlist their support and assistance.
Make a commitment to be extra firm on school mornings, when children complain most about their symptoms. Keep discussions about physical symptoms or anxieties to a minimum. For example, do not ask your child how he or she feels. If he ior she is well enough to be up and around the house, then he or she is well enough to attend school.
If your child's anxieties are severe, he or she might benefit from a step-wise return to school. For example: On day one, he or she might get up in the morning and get dressed, and then you might drive him or her by the school so he or she can get some feel for it before you finally return home together. On day two, your child might go to school for just half a day, or for only a favorite class or two. On day three, your child can finally return for a full day of school.
Your pediatrician might help ease your child's transition back to school by writing a note verifying that he or she had some symptoms keeping him or her from attending school, but though the symptoms might persist, he or she is now able to return to class. This can keep your child from feeling embarrassed or humiliated.
Request help from the school staff for assistance with your child while he or she is at school. A school nurse or secretary can care for your child should he or she become symptomatic, and encourage his or her return to the classroom.
If a problem like a school bully or an unreasonable teacher is the cause of your child's anxiety, become an advocate for your child and discuss these problems with the school staff. The teacher or principal may need to make some adjustments to relieve the pressure on your child in the classroom or on the playground.
If your child stays home, be sure he or she is safe and comfortable, but do not give him or her any special treatment. Your child's symptoms should be treated with consideration and understanding. If your child's complaints warrant it, he or she should stay in bed. However, your child's day should not be a holiday. There should be no special snacks and no visitors, and he or she should be supervised.
Your child may need to see a doctor when he or she stays home because of a physical illness. Reasons to remain home might include not just complaints of discomfort but recognizable symptoms: a temperature greater than 101 degrees, vomiting, diarrhea, a rash, a hacking cough, an earache or a toothache.
Help your child develop independence by encouraging activities with other children outside the home. These can include clubs, sports activities, and overnights with friends.
When to Seek Help:
While you might try to manage school refusal on your own, if your child's school avoidance lasts more than one week, you and your child may need professional assistance to deal with it.
First, your child should be examined by your pediatrician. If his or her school refusal persists, or if he or she has chronic or intermittent signs of separation difficulties when going to school – in combination with physical symptoms that are interfering with her functioning – your doctor may recommend a consultation with a child psychiatrist or psychologist.
Even if your child denies having negative experiences at school or with other children, his or her unexplainable physical symptoms should motivate you to schedule a medical evaluation.
Additional Information & Resources:
Signs of Bullying: Important Questions for Parents to Ask
Understanding Childhood Fears and Anxieties
How to Ease Your Child's Separation Anxiety
What to Know about Child Abuse
What Parents Can Do to Support Friendships
Understanding the Behavioral and Emotional Consequences of Child Abuse (AAP Policy Statement)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
How to help a child overcome fear of school?
Many parents sooner or later face such a phenomenon as a child's fear of school. At the same time, children behave differently: some learn to overcome such difficulties on their own, others withdraw into themselves and continue to cultivate their fears, others skip classes or fall ill at the first opportunity. Noticing the child's signs of nervousness, irritability, lack of desire to go to school, parents often panic themselves. What to do in this situation? How to deal with it? Where and how to look for a way out?
First of all, you should understand the causes of fear, and then, depending on the situation, take action. The task of parents is to help the child overcome all fears, psychologically support him, otherwise all this can lead to persistent anxiety, depression, and a constant reluctance to go to school. Psychological support of the child, first of all, is achieved by praise, an affectionate word, a friendly tone, a sense of empathy.
The main causes of fear of school include: fear of separation from parents, psychological immaturity of the child, fear of the teacher, fear of answering at the blackboard, conflicts with classmates, low self-esteem and self-doubt, low school performance. Let's consider some causes of children's fears of school and ways to solve them:
1. FEAR BECAUSE OF SEPARATION FROM PARENTS
Those children who are very much taken care of at home and try to protect from any troubles are most often subject to this fear. At the same time, children associate their home with a quiet and safe place, while in all the rest they experience discomfort and anxiety.
Explain to the child why it is necessary to go to school. For example, you can simply tell him, “Mom and Dad want you to get smart and meet new friends. ” Tell your child about how interesting it will be for him at school. What wonderful, interesting things he learns there.
Visit your child's school. If this is the first time he goes there, introduce him to the teacher yourself and explain that mom and dad like this person.
Never slip away when the child is busy with something. Always leave openly. The child may have a fear of losing his father and mother. You should always say that you are leaving, but will return later.
Leave your child at school with a satisfied smile on your face. Do not tell your child that nothing bad will happen to him at school - he may suspect signs of anxiety in you. Kiss the child, say that you will come for him after class.
Give your child your photos. Especially good will be those where you are filmed at the workplace. The photos will remind the baby that you are also working now.
The child should know that every day at school cannot be perfectly good and calm.
He will have to solve problems that arise, and you will always help him in this.
Try to spend more time with children, communicate with them on an equal footing, thereby making it clear that they are already old enough. This will help them to get in touch with classmates and teachers more easily.
2. THE CHILD IS NOT MADE FOR SCHOOL
It happens that a child does not want to go to school because he is terribly afraid of it. This reason is the most common among first graders. Many children are not ready to go to school from the age of 6. However, most often it does not depend on age, but on the individual characteristics of the student. In order for a child to feel comfortable at school, he must first of all be psychologically prepared for his new status. Otherwise, even if he has the necessary stock of knowledge and skills, he will be internally afraid to go to school. Such first-graders behave childishly directly and study unevenly. They will be attentive and diligent only if the classes arouse genuine interest in them. But if there is no interest for one reason or another, they do it rather casually, not caring at all about the results. Moreover, at an older age, they will behave in exactly the same way, since the foundations of this or that behavior are laid precisely in the first years of training. If a child is able to regulate his own behavior, emotions, can do what he is offered, and not just what he wants, he is ready to attend school. If the child is inattentive, often distracted by trifles - he will be unable to remember the most elementary information given by the teacher, it will be difficult for such a child to learn.
Do not rely on a teacher to deal with your child's problems. “That's what the school is to teach and educate,” many parents say - and they are very mistaken! The teacher has authority, but parental authority for the child is no less important. The teacher can't do it without your help. And most importantly - do not cope with your child.
It is necessary to form the personal maturity of a child from the age of three. Read books to him, teaching him to listen to adults without being distracted. Have conversations with him that allow the child to express his own thoughts. Provide a versatile gaming environment, including role-playing, intellectual, verbal, creative games, as well as various games with rules. It must be remembered that in the preschool period, the development of the child occurs mainly through play activities.
3. LOW SELF-ESTIMATION AND SELF-DOUBLE
In the period of preparation for schooling or a little later - at the beginning of schooling - there is a change in the attitude of adults to the successes and failures of the child. “Good” is, first of all, the child who knows a lot, successfully learns, easily solves problems. Difficulties and failures, almost inevitable at the beginning of schooling, are often taken sharply negatively by parents. Negative assessments from adults lead to the fact that the child's self-confidence drops, anxiety increases. This, in turn, leads not to an improvement, but to a deterioration in results, to disorganization of activities, unproductive waste of time on insignificant details, to distractions from work on reasoning about “how bad it will be if I again get a low mark.”
Give your child a sense of success. In no case do not compare the results of the child's activities with the requirements of the school curriculum, the successes of other children. The child should be compared with himself and praised for only one thing: for improving his own results. Reducing anxiety and increasing self-confidence will lead to improved learning outcomes.
One should not treat the child's problems with condescension, especially considering them as nonsense. Even if his problems seem ridiculous to you from the height of the past years, never show disdain for them.
Try to listen carefully to the child, talk on an equal footing, give friendly advice. He must always be sure that you will support him.
Try also to avoid conflicts in the family - they will further aggravate the situation. Love, patience, understanding, trust of parents - all this will make the child rise in his own eyes.
4. FEAR OF ANSWERING AT THE BLACKBOARD BEFORE THE CLASS
As a rule, such school fears arise in children who are impressionable, take everything to heart, and are dependent on the opinions of others.
Such children should be surrounded by a warm, accepting environment, people close to the child should understand and accept his anxiety. The child needs to speak out all their fears and concerns.
We should try to find out if the fear is related to any traumatic event (for example, the teacher or other students laughed at the child during the answer at the blackboard). The main thing is not to dramatize the situation, not to let the child "get hung up" on failures. An optimistic attitude in the family will help the child to believe in himself.
Fear of answering at the blackboard may be caused by a negative perception of the teacher. It will be useful to teach your child not to confuse the attitude of the teacher with the grades received. If the child believes in himself and his abilities, his fear of answers at the blackboard will disappear.
It is also important to teach the child to independently evaluate the results of the work done, regardless of the opinion of the teacher, and to trust their own assessments.
Recognize the child's right to make mistakes and failures. Try to show that parents value effort and effort, not grades. Celebrate the slightest successes and achievements, and in no case compare the child with other children. He must be sure that they believe in him, and he will certainly cope with all difficulties.
5. TOO HIGHER WORKLOAD AND AS A RESULT OF POOR STUDY
In addition to the fact that today's schoolchildren have a rather difficult program, they still have to cope with no less difficult homework every day. In addition, some parents consider it their duty to at least something to occupy the child so that it does not “dangle” idle, or to find a “prestigious” hobby for him. All this taken together makes the child so tired that he slowly begins to hate school, which takes up most of his free time, some of which could be spent on himself, his interests and hobbies, communicating with friends. In such a situation, he somehow does his homework in order to free up time for games, since there is literally not enough of it for everything.
In this situation, parents need to reconsider the child's additional workload. You should not load the student with numerous circles and sections. And in order for him to have more time and not get tired, he needs a clear daily routine and thoughtful rest, preferably in the fresh air.
At first, mom or dad should help the child with homework, but not doing the work for him, but only pushing him to the right decision.
If a child occasionally turns to you with a request to help him with his homework, it's okay if you explain to him some incomprehensible points. But if he regularly asks to do his homework for him, because he does not understand it, in this case, you need to consult with the teacher, because a good teacher will prefer to help the student understand the topic to the end, so that he can then complete the task on his own.
Be attentive to your child, try to solve his problems in time by joint efforts - and the result will not be long in coming: children's fears of school will be forgotten forever.
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Fear of school - Psikhologos
There is a term "school phobia", which means the fear of going to school that obsessively haunts some children. Often it is not so much about the fear of school, but about the fear of leaving home, separation from parents, to whom the child is anxiously attached, moreover, often ill and being in conditions of overprotection.
Sometimes parents are afraid of school and involuntarily instill this fear in their children or dramatize the problems of starting school, doing all the tasks instead of the children, and also controlling them about every letter written. As a result, children develop a feeling of insecurity in their abilities, doubts about their knowledge, the habit of hoping for help on any occasion.
At the same time, conceited parents, thirsting for success at any cost, forget that children even at school remain children - they want to play, run, "discharge", and it takes time to become as conscious as adults want them to be.
Confident, loving, active and inquisitive children who seek to cope with learning difficulties on their own and build relationships with peers do not usually experience fear of going to school.
It's a different matter if we are talking about emphatically proud, with an overestimated level of claims, children who did not acquire the necessary experience of communicating with their peers before school, did not go to kindergarten, are excessively attached to their mother and are not self-confident enough. In this case, they are afraid not to meet the expectations of their parents, at the same time experiencing difficulties in adapting to the school community and the fear of the teacher reflected from their parents.
Some children are terrified of making a mistake when preparing their homework or answering at the blackboard, because their mother meticulously checks every letter, every word. And at the same time, he is very dramatic about everything: "Oh, you made a mistake! You will be given a deuce! You will be expelled from school, you will not be able to study!" etc. She does not hit the child, only scares. But the punishment is still there. This is the psychological beating. The most real.
And what happens? Before the arrival of the mother, the child prepares lessons. But everything goes down the drain, because the mother comes and starts the lessons all over again. She wants the child to be an excellent student. And he cannot be due to various reasons beyond his control. Then he begins to be afraid of the negative attitude of the mother, and this fear passes on to the teacher, paralyzes the will of the child at the most crucial moments: when they are called to the board, when you need to write a control or unexpectedly answer from the spot.
In a number of cases, fear of school is caused by conflicts with peers, fear of manifestations of physical aggression on their part. This is typical for emotionally sensitive, often ill and weakened boys, and especially for those of them who have moved to another school, where there has already been a "distribution of forces" within the class.
A 10-year-old boy constantly skipped school because of a slightly elevated temperature for no apparent reason. Doctors unsuccessfully searched for the source of his illness, while it was caused by emotional stress after transferring to another school, where he was systematically bullied by guys who had long divided spheres of influence in the class. The teacher, however, did not take any drastic measures, getting off with reproachful remarks against excessively aggressive children.
Then the boy himself made a decision - not to go to school anymore, since the temperature rose from excitement and expectation every day. As a result, he began to regularly "get sick", the teacher came to his house, checked the lessons and graded for the quarter. So he "won" this fight. But at what cost? He developed passivity, anxiety, and contact with peers ceased. Not surprisingly, he involuntarily resisted any attempts to improve his condition and return him to school. The lack of timely support from the teacher aggravated his defenselessness and contributed to the development of unfavorable character traits.
In addition to "school" fears, children of this age are typically afraid of the elements - natural disasters: storms, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes. It is not accidental, because it reflects another feature inherent in this age: the so-called magical thinking - the tendency to believe in a "fatal" set of circumstances, "mysterious" phenomena, predictions and superstitions.
At this age, they cross the street when they see a black cat, they believe in "odd and even", the thirteenth number, "lucky tickets". This is the age when some children simply love stories about vampires, ghosts, while others are terribly afraid of them. The heroes of the films "Viy" and "Fantômas" were once especially frighteningly popular. Recently, they have been replaced by space aliens and robots. And the fear of the dead and ghosts has always been. Belief in the existence of "dark" forces is a legacy of the Middle Ages with its demonomania cult (in Russia - belief in devils, goblin, water and werewolves).
All of the listed fears reflect a kind of magical orientation, belief in the unusual and terrible, breathtaking and imaginative. Such a belief is already in itself a natural test for suggestibility as a characteristic feature of primary school age. The magical mood is reflected in the nightmarish dreams of children of this age: “I’m walking, walking down the street and I stumble upon some old man, and he turns out to be a sorcerer” (boy 7 years old), “I’m walking with the guys, and we are some kind of person from clay comes across, scary, he runs after us" (girl, 8 years old).
The typical fears of younger students will be the fears of the Black Hand and the Queen of Spades. The Black Hand is the omnipresent and penetrating hand of a dead man, in which it is easy to see the legacy of Koshchei the Immortal, or rather, all that remains of him, as well as the Skeleton, which is also often feared at primary school age.
Baba Yaga in the image of the Queen of Spades also reminds of herself. The Queen of Spades is just as inhuman, cruel, cunning and insidious, capable of casting spells, speaking, turning into someone or something, making her helpless and lifeless. To an even greater extent, her necrophilic image personifies everything, one way or another connected with the fatal outcome of events, their predestination, fate, fate, omens, predictions, that is, with the magical repertoire.
At primary school age, the Queen of Spades can revive the fear of death by playing the role of a vampire, sucking blood from people and depriving them of life. Here is a fairy tale composed by a 10-year-old girl:
"Three brothers lived. They were homeless and somehow went into one house, where a portrait of the Queen of Spades hung over the beds. The brothers ate and went to bed. At night, the Queen of Spades came out of the portrait. She went to the first brother's room and drank from him blood. Then she did the same with the second and third brothers. When the brothers woke up, all three had a sore throat under their chins. “Maybe we should go to the doctor?” said the older brother. But the younger brother suggested taking a walk. When they returned from a walk The rooms were black and covered in blood. They went to bed again, and the same thing happened at night. Then in the morning the brothers decided to go to the doctor. On the way, two brothers died. The younger brother came to the clinic, but it turned out to be a day off. At night, the younger brother did not sleep and noticed how the Queen of Spades came out of the portrait. He grabbed a knife and killed her!
Children's fear of the Queen of Spades often sounds defenseless in the face of imaginary mortal danger, intensified by separation from parents and fears of darkness, loneliness and enclosed space coming from an earlier age. That is why this fear is typical for emotionally sensitive and impressionable children attached to their parents.
And, finally, the Queen of Spades is an insidious seductress capable of destroying a family.
In this form, she appears before us in the story of an 8-year-old boy. His strict and principled mother for a long time kept in check his father, a kind, sympathetic man, who was something like a mother for a boy. She herself, on the contrary, played the role of a despotic father who did not accept a boyish line of behavior.
At the age of 7 he witnessed a night showdown between his parents. Soon the father left for another woman. Then the boy found himself for the first time in a pioneer camp, where he was frightened by older girls who portrayed the Queen of Spades. From fear, he saw her as if in reality (the effect of suggestion). At home, he didn’t fall asleep alone, opened the door and turned on the light - he was afraid of her appearance and what she would do with him. Subconsciously, he likened her to a woman who took away her beloved father, whom she could not meet due to her mother's prohibition.
Fear of the Queen of Spades is just characteristic of children who have strict, constantly threatening and punishing mothers, which, in essence, means the fear of alienation from the image of a loving, kind and caring mother.