What do you do when your child refuses to go to school?

Are you feeling frustrated and angry with your child's school refusal? So what do you do when your child refuses to go to school? #parentingtips #school #schoolrefusal

Are you experiencing your child meltdown everyday right before going to school? Are you feeling frustrated and angry when they refuse to go to school? So what do you do when your child refuses to go to school?

Most children will blame physical issues such as stomach pain or leg pain for avoiding school. However, you may find that pain vanishes once they stay at home. You may find yourself reacting to your anxieties and emotions rather than acting in an effective and a well- planned manner. 

What do you do when your child refuses to go to school?

Having a child who avoids going to school is known as school refusal. Typically children with school refusal experience a difficult time in school due to some anxiety. School refusal is not a kind of truancy since the truant children are more challenging & deceptive, whereas school refusers use to behave well except this particular circumstance. 

Are you feeling frustrated and angry with your child's school refusal? So what do you do when your child refuses to go to school? #parentingtips #school #schoolrefusal

Before looking into the steps to take, have a glimpse of why kids refuse to go to school

Most of the time, when a child refuses to go to school, they fall into one or more of these four categories:

  • Bullying: Kids who are in trouble to get along with their peers, or kids who are experiencing bullying for the short term or long term. 
  • Academics: Average kids who are struggling a lot to study usually experience negativity. 
  • Behavior: Kids who have difficulties with authority & following the rules.
  • Anxiety: Kids who are feeling some anxiety – separation fear (regularly in younger kids), or bother about tests, what’s occurring at home, or whether or not they will be picked up that day, etc.

How to Respond When a Child Refuses to Go to School

Are you feeling frustrated and angry with your child's school refusal? So what do you do when your child refuses to go to school? #parentingtips #school #schoolrefusal

Written by Kalaivani of SchoolBasix.

1. Check for Physical Cause: 

If your child is complaining about any physical issues, kindly have them checked by a doctor. We couldn’t blame them every time, so give a chance to check to find whether they are facing any issues physically, and later, you can find out you’re mistaken. 

Sometimes, your child can have an underlying issue, such as GERD or Anxiety. Also, if your child has special needs such as autism, they may not be able to describe their pain accurately. When they complain about a stomach ache, it could be as distent as an earache that is indeed occurring. 

child refuses to go to school

2. Talk with your child: 

Talking to your child might help them to recover from the bothering they are suffering behind. Be sure that your way of communicating is at their emotional level.

Some children cannot handle talking about the subject. In this case, please do not force them to have a conversation. Sometimes, it’s not the conversation but the timing. Make sure your child is calm and happy when you try to talk to them about the issues.

Whatever their answer, make sure that they understand you are there to help. That you won’t be judgemental, and you will help come up with a solution.

child refuses to go to school

3. Avoid Lecture : 

Don’t have long discussions or debates regarding the importance of attending the school. Lecturing won’t help you, and even more, it makes matters worse. This kind of negative attention may result in a problem. 

In the case of bullying, you don’t want your child to feel distressed at home on top of the bullying.  

4. Be a Detective: 

Notice the patterns of your child’s illnesses. Observe whether he or she wakes up with pain or he/she complains or if it’s when they are busy & distracted. Also, notice whether these things happen on the weekend as well. Look for clues that reveal the causes of your child avoiding school. 

Are you feeling frustrated and angry with your child's school refusal? So what do you do when your child refuses to go to school? #parentingtips #school #schoolrefusal

child refuses to go to school

5. Arrange a conference: 

Many times, a phone call or email can solve a lot of problems. However, when an issue is ongoing, it might be time to schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher and staff.  

Doing this will help convey a message to the school that you are equally involved and committed to sorting out the problem. More importantly, though, you will be able to work together to figure the problem and a solution. 

If you find there to be a bullying situation, these are also the people that can resolve the issue.  

What to do when your child refuses to go to school

6. Be open-minded: 

Avoid assuming or blaming the teacher, or that the school has committed something wrong. When emotions are high, it’s common to point out the fingers on others, but it will not help solve the problem. 

Work together with your chid’s teacher and school to figure out the problem together. You all have the same goal in mind, which is making school an excellent place your child enjoys. 

What to do when your child refuses to go to school

7. Avoid making it appealing to stay at home:

Let your child know that if he or she is genuinely ill, there are rules for staying home. They may need to go to the doctor, should rest in bed for the day. 

Not only should you place these rules, but you’ll also need to Enforce them. While they may not be happy about this, if they are genuinely sick, these are steps they need to take to get better. If they are not, it will reduce the appeal of skipping school. 

What to do when your child refuses to go to school

8. Make a sick policy ahead of time:

There are school rules in place for being sick. If your child has a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, they cannot come to school until 24 hours after those symptoms have ceased.  

If your child doesn’t have these symptoms, then you can make policy on what happens next. For instance, you can have your child check in with the nurse when they get to school. If your child is genuinely ill, the school nurse can assess the situation & send them home if necessary. 

This way of handling the situation can reduce the struggle between the parent and child. Too frequently, the conflict itself can be strengthening for children because they are receiving so much extra attention. 

What to do when your child refuses to go to school

9. Obtain Support: 

One option is to have another family member or friend take your child to school for a while. Doing this will remove yourself from emotional dramas and make you better able to support your child. It also offers a slight change in routine that can help them reset. 

Another option could be having a special person in their life, such as a grandparent, pick them up from school on certain days. They can use this time to bond with each other over a small meal or trip to the park. Since they have to be at school to be picked up, this can reduce so of the school refusal. 

When your child refuses to go to school

Being patient and persistent is so important when your child doesn’t want to go to school. Kids are resilient, and they can learn from you and adapt with some coaching & support from you.  If you enjoyed this post, make sure to check out our parenting section for more ways to help your child thrive!

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By Kalai Vani

Kalaivani is the content writer of SchoolBasix. she's a blogger, author who specializes in email marketing and digital marketing. Kalai focus on helping people to understand how to better drive traffic, develop relationships and earn revenue online.

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