When Your Child Doesn't Want to Go to School - What Do You Do?

When Your Child Doesn't Want to Go to School - What Do You Do?

"Mum, I don't want to go to school." It's a common phrase as parents we hear often. Usually accompanied by crying, screaming and anger, children have many ways to express their displeasure at going to school. Sometimes it's because home is more appealing than school or they are feeling sick or tired. Other times there are more disturbing reasons including bullying or academic troubles. Today we look at the main reasons why kids don't want to go to school and what as parents we can do about it.

Dealing with Kids Who Don't Want to Go to School

School is hard work for our kids. Not only do they need to learn their ABC's, but there's the school culture and social interactions to learn about too. Some of the main reasons why kids don't want to go to school include:

  • learning difficulties
  • bullying or teasing
  • a new teacher
  • new friends
  • conflict with friends or family
  • changing schools
  • tests

While many kids will tell us they don't want to go to school, others display other signs such as:

  • hiding under the blankets
  • refusing to move or talk
  • show high levels of anxiety
  • complain of being sick
  • have tantrums
  • make threats to self-harm

As a parent, it's our job to nail down the exact cause of their school anxiety and help them to manage it.

Tips on Coping with a Child Who Refuses to Go to School

It's really hard to see our kids upset and even harder to know we need to make them do something they don't want to do. The best way to reverse their school reluctance is by identifying what's causing the anxiety and identifying ways to reduce it. Here are our top tips on how to do this:

  • spend time talking with your child about their time at school. Is there a certain subject which causes them anxiety or is it having nobody to play with at lunchtime which is the problem?
  • check for any physical problems. It could be they need glasses to be able to see the board better or are constipated, which is why they have a tummy ache.
  • watch for reoccurring signs. Are they only upset on Friday mornings when homework is due or is it on a Monday after a weekend at home?
  • chat with your child's teacher. Have they noticed any problems or has your child alerted them to any issues at school?

Sometimes all it takes is a little reward after school to encourage your child to go to school. This could be a trip to the playground or even their own personalised pencil case or notebook. If your child does stay home from school due to illness or reluctance, make home boring! No TV, internet or radio during school hours will surely make school seem way more fun!

Posted: Monday 30 April 2018