What to Do When Your Child Refuses to Attend School

Is your preschooler refusing to leave your side? How about your five-year-old? Do they refuse to attend school? Here's what you should do.

The good news is that there are strategies to help your child and help them get back on track. These ideas will assist you in enrolling (and keeping) your child in school.

Take Your Child's Development Seriously

Children, like adults, have terrible days. However, if your child complains about school on a regular and frequent basis, you should take heed. Anxiety, learning problems, social and emotional concerns, and bullying, to mention a few, can all contribute to school avoidance. And, regardless of the reason, your child should be seen and heard. Their objections and concerns should be addressed seriously.

Recognise Their Concerns

We assume kindergarten and the early grades are unimportant, yet education is a lot of effort for kids! It requires work and effort to follow regulations and practise new abilities. So, if your child recently returned from a nice winter break or was home ill, they may conclude that staying at home is preferable to working hard at school.

Also, beginning at the age of five, there is a natural increase in worry when youngsters realise they are vulnerable. No matter how secure their lives are, children may acquire anxieties of death, injury, or losing a parent, especially if something frightening is in the news. While at school, kids may be concerned that something horrible may happen to their parents—or to themselves—and that they would be unable to defend one other. At this age, children embrace their newfound freedom, but they are also terrified of it.

Lower the "Fun Factor"

While some children miss school because they are terrified of something, it is not always that severe; for example, some youngsters choose to skip school simply because home is a nicer place to be. The solution is to make missing school boring! When your child complains of a headache in the morning, determine whether or not they are truly ill. If there is no fever, vomiting, or other obvious symptoms, attempt to convince them to go to school. "Let's see how long you can stay at school until you start feeling better," you may say.

If you're still sick, we can go to the doctor after school." On days when your child is home, you should, of course, look after them, but avoid offering them any screen time or goodies. They'll be eager to return to class once they realise a sick day isn't a play day.

Investigate the Situation

Your kid may be anxious about a specific issue, such as the bus or a bully, but may be unable to verbalise or comprehend what they wish to avoid. If they indicate they don't want to go to school because they have a tummy pain, attempt to assist them make the connection by adding, "You know, sometimes my tummy hurts when I'm worried about being late." My gut generally stops hurting when I concentrate about how to be on time. "What exactly are you concerned about?" You may discover that a child is being nasty to them in class or that they are terrified of getting abducted like they saw on the news. The trick is to probe, prod, and inquire.

Deal with the Root Cause

You can resolve the issue once you've identified the root cause. If your kid is having scholastic difficulties that are generating worry, you might have them examined for an IEP, or individualised education programme. These strategies assist youngsters in meeting their educational requirements. If your kid is experiencing separation anxiety, or if they "miss you," you may be able to collaborate with their teacher to devise a transitional plan.

 Keeping a lovey or a photo of your family in your child's cubby, for example, may be beneficial. If bullying is the root of the problem, all parties involved must be addressed. Consider include your youngster in the problem-solving process. When given the opportunity, children can be fantastic problem solvers.

Consult with Their Teacher

You may and should include your child's teacher in addition to addressing the underlying concerns. Inquire about your child's behaviour in class. Are they active or passive? Inquire about any remarkable behaviours they may have witnessed. What did they notice? Then they will collaborate with their teacher to devise a strategy. Teachers are fantastic problem solvers. They may give recommendations for reintegrating your kid into the school.

Recognise that there may be deeper issues.

If your kid consistently refuses to go to school, is so upset that they can't stop weeping, or exhibits other symptoms of anxiety, such as nightmares or a dread of being left alone, consult with your paediatrician about visiting a therapist who specialises in childhood anxiety.

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