School refusal is a child’s unwillingness to go to school because of a variety of factors. But why? After all, children have natural hunger for knowledge of the world around them.
External factors for school refusal can be numerous
1. Emotionally sensitive and introverted kids are often not very comfortable in a big company of peers. A lot of noise and bustle hinders them from feeling secure and tires them quickly.
2. Defiant kids tend to deny everything they are told and contradict every word adults say. It doesn’t mean that such a kid is not interested in studying, though.
3. Sometimes parents are the reason of the kid’s unwillingness to go to school and study. They discuss and judge school, teachers and students in front of their kids. They say that their kid can be hurt or abused or mistreated in school. Naturally, their child trusts their opinion, which creates negative attitude to school and to education.
4. A child got some bad, unpleasant and somewhat humiliating experience at school. Maybe some of his teachers didn’t appreciate his work as much as he expected. Maybe he had an argument with his friend or a fight with some of his peers. Or maybe he’s being bullied by other kids or even by a teacher (yes, unfortunately, it happens too).
5. Kids miss their parents too much – sometimes it can be the only reason why younger kids don’t want to go to school.
6. Information overload that they just can’t stand.
7. The way subjects are taught is not interesting.
So what should you do to help your kid?
1. Discuss your kid’s feelings
Talk to your kid calmly and patiently. Ask him about what kind of things disappoint or upset him. If you don’t get a clear answer, try talking to his teacher. Maybe there’s a bully at school that won’t leave him alone, or maybe other kids laugh at him because of the way he looks. Or perhaps he is worried about his failures or something happened that scared him. Don’t blame and criticize your child, always listen to him. When your child feels your such approach, he will be able to trust you, his stress will be released, and he will be sure that you are always here to support him.
2. Tell him that life is not a box of candies
Honesty is the best policy when talking to your kid. No matter how old he is, you should explain why exactly he has to attend school, that it’s his duty now, and tell him what expects for him if he starts missing lessons or coming too late for his classes. Just don’t try to frighten your kid; let him know about some upsides of going to school as well.
3. Meet your child halfway
Let your child stay at home sometimes in response to protests against the school. Let him sleep well, take him for a walk or into a cinema, play together, try to do what he likes. One such day relieves his fatigue for the whole week.
4. Praise your child
It’s important for the child, like any person, to know that he is good, that he does everything well and that you appreciate him. Always show interest to your kid’s progress at school.
These can be simple words, just praise, but that they give your child a desire to achieve new goals.
6. Strengthen your kid’s immunity
Vitamins, sport, and swimming strengthen health and immune system. The rarer the child falls ill better for his body. But remember that absence of diseases must be compensated by any unscheduled days off for your child during the school year.
7. Pay special attention to positive things
If your kid’s problems are not that serious, you will still have to find out why he’s so unhappy with his school. Remind him about classes he enjoys so much or friends he can meet only at his school.
Of course all these won’t make your child a school fan but will safe both your nerves greatly.
Just remember: the most important for you as a parent is to be patient with your child, to talk to him without being obtrusive or overly demanding. No matter what happens in your kid’s life, he should trust you and know you are always there to help and support him.