“Mom, I have a stomach ache. I don’t want to go to school!”
Do you often hear excuses like this from your child? As a parent, you will often come across strange excuses from your children, requesting that they do not want to go to school.
This is something very usual that most children do. I myself, being a parent, have often come across various excuses from my son. Some of them are seriously disturbing that I start to believe them almost at once and this worries me a lot! But now that I am in the student counselling profession, I understand the scenario.
If you too have been through this same tantrum street that your child keeps making continuous excuses for escaping school, here are some of the many reasons that you must know.
Reasons why your Child is Reluctant to Go to School:
Throwing tantrums is a common habit that every single child practices at least for once in their lives. It is quite normal for the parents to believe them initially. But if stomach-ache symptoms disappear as soon as his or her school hours are over and recur again on the next morning, that’s when you need to worry.
Many parents mistake the solution to be scolding or punishing; but you need to go into identifying the root cause behind it.
Here are the reasons.
- Academic struggle:
As a student counsellor, I have seen many students, who do not want to go to school. And in most cases, the hidden reason behind this reluctance is academic struggle.
Different students have different academic strengths and capabilities. Hence, it is quite possible that they fail to follow class or what their teacher teaches. Where all other students manage to proceed in speed, your child’s inability to cope with academic speed might cause him or her to refuse to go to school.
In every school, in almost every class, there are a few students, who always bully meek students. If your child is afraid to go to school, always try and find out if he or she is facing any problem in school.
Not only does bully affect the child for the short term and hamper studies, but it will also hamper the psychological growth of the child for the long term.
- Psychological problems:
There are some students, who find it difficult to follow rules. Handling instructions and abiding by the authority is difficult for them. They often refuse to go to school.
Children are often unable to express their fears and anxieties. The anxieties that they suffer from, are often difficult for them to tell others through words and difficult for parents to understand through actions.
The anxiety can be anything such as –
- Being separated from parents or near and dear ones
- Anxiety of tests and examinations
- Consequence of some disputes happening at home that might cause them fear of not being picked up by the parents after school.
These are quite difficult for the parents or caregivers to recognise. But, if you take the help of medical professionals, psychologists or counsellors, they will help you to identify the hidden anxiety.
- Problem with teacher:
Sometimes, though quite unfortunate, the problem can be caused by the teacher. Though the school is supposed to be the second home for the students and the teachers should be affectionate enough, fact is otherwise. Teachers often –
- Beat children
- Threaten the children instead of teaching them what they should or should not do
- Verbally harm their confidence level.
In such a case, it is quite a big problem for students to cope with the situation. Even the parents might not find a solution from teachers, when consulted. Asking the friends of the kid or following what the kid is trying to convey might be of great help.
- Homework problem:
Whether homework, projects or assignments should be assigned to children or not, is a question that will have equally varying opinions. Hence, let’s not get into that and accept that homework is an unavoidable part of learning procedure.
But, often the main reason behind being reluctant to go to school is homework. Student, who fail to complete their homework on time or need help to complete the assignments, often refuse to go to school. This happens especially on the occasions of submission.
If that is the case, seeking professional help from the homework help services is a great idea. These are academicians, professional teachers and professors, who help the children to do the homework fast, effectively and understand what they are learning. In fact, if the children cannot complete the homework under any circumstance, they can do the task on the child’s behalf.
This is very effective for the children to overcome the fear of not being able to submit the task.
How to handle the situation?
Now that you have understood the possible reasons behind your child refusing to go to school, it is important that you help your child to overcome their fears, problems and anxieties.
For that –
- You should make them feel safe and make them believe that school is a safe place
- You should use praising and encouraging words to build their self confidence
- You should use clear statements that do not give them the chance to say no, but at the same time, do not impose the decision of going to school
- You should give them rewards for going to school, like not stopping them at play. Make sure that the reward is given on the same day.
These would certainly help the child to overcome the fear. But of course, you must talk to the teachers to make sure that your child is not being bullied at school. Homework should be made fun and always take help from professionals, if you can’t help your child alone. Throughout this entire process, you should be patient and never enforce power struggle with child. It is your responsibility as a parent that you help children in enjoying school and studies.