Is your child refusing to go to school because of a stomach ache? Is he throwing tantrums every time you plan on sending him to school? Does all the pain vanish the moment you stop talking about it? Well, then your child may be having school refusal issues. They probably don’t want to go to school because they are having issues or problems in going there and are finding ignoring it as their best solution. As parents, you have to make them understand the importance of education and help them deal with this issue. Here’s what you have to do, as parents, if your child won’t go to school.
#1. Reach out and talk
Going to your child, reaching out to them is the first thing that you have to do if you think your child is suffering from school refusal. What you should understand is that your child is not ill. They probably have something going on in their head and you should vent it out of them. Talking to them with phrases like ‘I notice you are….’ would help them vent out easily. Don’t force a conversation with them but remind them that you are there for them.
#2. Listen up
It is possible that something specific is going on with your child and he/she is not able to cope up with it. That doesn’t mean you immediately jump to conclusions and start asking things. If your child has started talking then it’s an indication for you to listen to them. Don’t be judgmental and just listen to them pour their heart out. Comfort them and try to understand their perspective before coming to an answer.
#3. Look for physical causes
If your child isn’t going to school because of a physical issue or an ailment, get them checked immediately. It’s unlikely that your child will have any physical issue but there is nothing wrong in getting them checked. In fact if there is nothing and if they are still complaining about it then you would easily know that something is bothering them. That is when you should reach out to them and listen.
#4. Recognize what’s disturbing them
In children, there is natural anxiety and they are vulnerable and naive. No matter how comfortable a life you give them, they tend to think about things that they see in reality and virtually. Incidents at school may worry them especially when it’s the case of bullying. It’s necessary for you to understand what they are going through and then address it. Not addressing it in the right way or telling even the bad is good to the kid can put him/her towards the wrong path.
#5. Lessen the fun factor – at home
An appealing environment at home is likely to be the reason why your kid is avoiding school. If your kid is really sick, have strict rules that they have to abide by like staying in bed and drinking soup. Don’t let them play or watch TV until they have recovered. This may sound obvious, but as parents, you should understand that many-a-times your kid would only want to stay at home because they have not finished their homework or want your attention. Also, remember to not keep your home too appealing with lot off amenities because it would make it difficult for them to go to school.
#6. Avoid lecturing
Lengthy discussions and debates regarding how important going to school and education is, is not the solution to school refusal. Lecturing doesn’t do any good and is likely to make things worse. Any kind of negative reaction can cause a problem. Avoid it as much as possible. If you think you can’t find a solution talk to other parents about it or take help. And remember, lecturing is just not right for this scene.
#7. Have an open mind
Jumping to conclusions and going straight to the teachers at school to talking to them with anger and assumptions in mind is going to make matters worse. In cases like these having an open mind is absolutely necessary. It’s natural for you to blame the teachers or anybody who you think would fall into this situation but that won’t solve the problem. It’s really important for you to get to the bottom of this situation and get things rectified.
#8. Have a healthy & learning environment
Stimulate a learning and healthy ambiance at your home. If your child ends up staying at home make him/her read or do small chores and don’t let them sleep. Sleeping is addictive to children of this age and that can be the reason why they are refusing school. You can also take guidance from a counselor who would help you deal with this.
As parents, you should understand your children’s feelings and emotions. Pressuring them is never the answer. Listen to them with an open mind and make them realize that you are with them. It is unsettling to see your own kids not wanting to go to school and restraining education. But remain calm and deal with the situation in a positive way.
Happy parenting folks!