My Child Refuses to Go to School – What Can I Do?
It is Monday morning, and your child refuses to go to school and is once again, complaining about a stomach ache.
Some schools arrange for the next year’s class to spend a morning with the new teacher, so find out if this will happen. Be positive in your attitude toward the school, if you hated your own schooldays, keep quiet.
In practical terms, help your child to become independent in using the toilet, and in dressing and undressing.
Provide shoes without laces and clothes with elasticized waistbands to make it easier, and teach him to cut up his food.
Make sure he can recognize his name. Labeling clothes have more purpose if he knows what his name looks like.
What Can You do if Child Refuses to Go to School?
It mysteriously vanishes the second you agree to let them stay at home. But two days later you hear the same complaint again.
If this is a recurring incident at home, you can be sure it is not a physical ailment at all. It is a ruse your child is using to avoid school.
When your child first starts school, he is likely to find the experience quite demanding, both physically and emotionally. You should expect him to feel very tired when he comes home, and he may need a nap.
He may not be used to spending most of the day away from home. He will also have to adjust to paying greater attention in class than he may have done in preschool.
He may be hungry or fussy by the time he gets home, so have a snack and a drink ready to calm him down and boost his flagging energy.
Some of the common reasons your child refuses to go to school may be the following:
- Adjusting with peer group :
Simply put, they struggle to make friends. Or they could be experiencing bullying at school. This could be a short or long-term issue.
- Coping with academics:
Your child might be finding it difficult to cope with academics and evaluations, having had a relatively easy time at preschool.
- Toeing the line:
Rules and regulations are new to them. Designated lunch hours play hours, and study time might be making them feel restricted.
- Experiencing separation anxiety:
They might miss being with you and they worry about what they are missing out on by not being at home.
The key is not despairing but turning things around for the better.
If your child refuses to go to school take him to the doctor :
This is for you to be reassured and to rule out the remote possibility that your child might have a physical ailment.
- Talk and communicate with your child:
Talk to them about what is bothering them. However, you should make it explicit in your communication that the plan is to go back to school.
Right now you are willing to support your child in conquering the problem. A
Ask open-ended questions like, “What is the toughest subject at school?” How did you learn this? What do you write on the board?
They might sometimes realize what the problem is, but not know how to ask for assistance. You could gently guide them as to how to ask the teacher for help.
Make it unappealing to stay at home:
If your child has complained of a stomach ache to avoid school, then make sure that they stay in bed the whole day and give them simple food.
Tell them that television and other toys are off-limits when they are ill.
If they claim to be better, make them go through their books and simulate a school environment at home. Make it clear to them that they do not get free reign at home on school days.
- Take the teacher into confidence:
Remember that your child’s teacher is a well-wisher. Confide in her.
She might be able to offer valuable insights into the problem and come up with solutions.
For example, if your child refuses to go to school and has trouble making friends, she could help them connect with other children.
If they have academic issues she might be able to offer productive solutions.
Whether the issue is academic or social, there is always a solution to make things better. The aim is to reassure your child and help them grow into a confident and happy individual.