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

Added Date - Nov 4, 2015

Do your mornings start out the same way on many days, with your child saying they are sick or coming up with other reasons why they should not go to school today? If your child doesn't want to go to school anxiety may be the reason for children who have school refusal, which s completely different from truancy. Knowing what to do when your child doesn't want to go to school is as important as knowing what you shouldn't do. Most kids in this category are usually well behaved and obedient, but when it comes to going to school you feel like it is a Herculean task to get your child ready and to school n on time.

Tips on What to Do When Your Child Doesn't Want to Go to School

    Staying home should not mean a fun day for your child.

If your child tells you they don't feel good, or they complain of a stomach ache or headache, then this means that they need to rest and recover. That means no television, no video games, and no staying out of bed. When staying home means fun your child will try to do it as often as possible. Be sympathetic and compassionate, but do not give in and let your child get up and play during the day when they miss school.


    Always have any physical symptoms or complaints checked out by your physician before you assume there is nothing wrong and your child just does not want to go to school.

Most of the time there is nothing wrong with your child, but pay attention t when they complain of symptoms and keep notes. If you child complains on days when there is no school, or if they have these symptoms even when they are distracted or looking forward to something then there could be a physical cause for the problem.


    Set age appropriate rules and boundaries, with clear consequences which are well defined.

Children need to learn that there are consequences when rules and boundaries are not followed, and these consequences come from society as well as parents.If your teen is always late then do not make excuses, put in the note that Johnny would not get up on time and that he should be expected to suffer the consequences. Too often parents try to protect and cover for their children when the child doesn't want to go to school, and this is not teaching your child personal responsibility.


    If you are trying to figure out what to do when the child doesn't want to go to school and this is a frequent problem try linking activities and privileges that your child enjoys with school attendance and taking responsibility.

Create new limits and then enforce these limits. If Sarah loves playing video games or watching a favorite television show then link this activity to their school attendance. If your child does not go to school then they lose this favorite activity for a certain time.


    Meet with the teachers and discuss the problems that your child is having.

When everyone is aware of the problem then problem solving and coming up with solutions can be a group effort. There may be signs that the teacher sees that you don't, and things you know that the teacher and other school support staff are not aware of.

    Follow through every time.

If you set rules, limits, and boundaries but then you give in you are setting yourself up for failure because your child will see that you don't stand firm and will eventually cave.Choose a calm time to discuss the problem. Trying to discuss a child who doesn't want to go to school, anxiety related or not, first thing in the morning when everyone is getting ready for work or school will not be productive. Wait until later in the day when your child is not anxious, upset, or stressed to have this discussion because you will probably get better results.

These are just a few tips on what to do when your child doesn't want to go to school. In chronic cases professional assistance and support may also be needed.


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