How to Deal With a Child Who Refuses To Go to School
Most of us have, at points, had to deal with a child who refuses to go to school, and we all know how frustrating it can be. Whether you are the parent or teacher, there are many strategies that can help deal with this problem.
In the following post, we will discuss some tips on what to do when your child is refusing to get ready for school in the morning, as well as how teachers should handle these situations during their day at work!
Identify the Problem
When a child is refusing to go to school, it can be helpful for the parent or teacher in this situation to identify what exactly the underlying cause of this issue may be.
In some cases, your child may simply not understand why they need education and might feel that attending school will take away from valuable time playing with friends instead.
There is also the possibility that it could also be due to anxiety - some children just do not know how to deal with stressful situations like going into new environments where they are surrounded by others who don't already know them well.
Identify any possible causes of refusal before attempting strategies aimed at fixing the problem directly; otherwise you won’t really get far!
The top four reasons why kids don't want to go to school are:
Bullying: Kids who are harassed or who have difficulty getting along with their peers in schools.
Academics: Children who struggle academically, are bored, or for whom schoolwork has become a horrible experience
Emotional distress (often in younger children)
Medical issues (often in older children)
Please note: It's essential to consult a medical or mental health professional if you believe your kid is battling with anxiety or sadness.
Avoiding school can be one of the first indicators that your child is going through something at school and therefore it is important to at least consider the possibility that the root cause is bullying - bear in mind that children/teenagers are often reluctant to both admit and/or discuss that possibility for fear of making things worse.
Finally, many children have a difficult time with structure and authority. For them, not going to school is just another way to rebel.
Focus on Teaching Your Child Problem-Solving Skills
Regardless of the reason for your child's refusal to go to school, it is important that you continue trying to teach them problem-solving skills.
For example: if they are refusing because they don't want to attend class or do homework - make sure they know what their goals and expectations in life will be like if they follow through with getting an education (i.e., having a successful career).
If bullying/anxiety is the issue, then try involving them in activities that promote socializing and provide opportunities for making friends; maybe even consider parenting classes or counseling sessions together as a family so parents can also learn how best support their children when issues such as this come up.
Lastly, remember not all problems have easy solutions. Sometimes it is simply a matter of being patient and supportive until your child learns how to deal with certain situations on their own.
Remember that parenting should be an ongoing learning experience for both parents and children - so try not to get too frustrated if you find yourself dealing with the same problems over-and-over again; just keep working at problem solving together as long as the issue revolves around your child's safety, happiness, or success!
There are many strategies that can help when getting through to kids who won't go to school - but identifying what exactly is causing this refusal in any given situation will always be key before attempting anything else!
Please remember these suggestions work best when used in conjunction with parenting classes (if possible) or parenting classes - they can be a wonderful parenting tool for both parents and children to learn better ways of understanding and communicating with each other.
It’s About Motivation and Consequences (Just Like It Is with Adults)
Two things stand out when we look at adult problem-solving skills: Drive and consequences.
Motivation for adults goes a little something like this: In order to be able to feed their families and themselves, they need to go to work to earn the money that ultimately affords them the things in life that we all want such as the nice house, car, clothes, holiday(s); the ability to maintain a social life outside of the home.
The decision to not go to work, not stick to commitments/promises made means that over time, this has both economic and social consequences, not just for the adults but also for their families.
When your child doesn't want to go to school, there are similar incentives and consequences. You must instill that in them now. A reward system may be used to increase motivation.
“If you get up on time, you'll be able to stay awake until 9 p.m. After your bedtime, you may listen to your music in order to help you fall asleep.
Alternatively, if you get up on time, you may have an hour alone in your room to unwind before going to sleep and won't have to turn off the lights right at bedtime.”
Parents should connect being on time for school with good grades and excellent performance at all times. And praise their child when they get up on time without a fuss. One thing a parent might say is:
"I appreciate you getting up on time in the morning - are there times when you don't feel like it and, if so, what do you tell yourself when you feel like that?"
By calmly engaging with your child, you get an insight into how they think and how they try to problem-solve on their own.
Laying out actions/consequences can be just as straight forward - avoiding getting into a potential power struggle at an early age is key.
Some consequences, such as not allowing your child to stay up later, are about preventing something. Other times, negative behaviors are disciplined through enforcement. You could say:
"Because you have chosen not to get up on time all week, next week you will be in bed an hour earlier - IF you can show me you're capable of getting up on time everyday next week, we can talk about you being able to stay up one hour later again."
There will always be negative connotations associated with failing to fulfill our obligations in the world, and it should not be age-dependent... Understanding the difference between consequences and punishments can actually encourage your child to do the right thing.
Consequences put you back in control and teaches your child how to problem-solve, giving them the skills needed they need to be a successful adults.
In contrast, punishments generate ill will and have little impact on conduct.
Allow Your Child to Face Natural Consequences
Allow your child to face the natural consequences of their refusal to go to school. This means that after you have offered an explanation for why it is important, they are allowed to experience the result without interference from you or anyone else.
The parenting can be very tricky when dealing with a young child who refuses attending daycare/school but identifying what exactly is causing this refusal in any given situation will always be key before attempting anything else!
Please remember these suggestions work best when used in conjunction with parenting classes (if possible) or parenting courses - they can be a wonderful parenting tool for both parents and children to learn better ways of understanding and communicating with each other.
Set Limits and Hold Your Child Accountable
As with parenting in general, setting limits and holding your child accountable is crucial. If you set a limit (e.g., at bedtime), be sure to follow through on the natural consequence if they do not go to bed when expected (no TV or other privileges).
It's important that parents be consistent about following through on expectations because children will test their boundaries again and again - this isn't something that happens once; it needs to become part of parenting routine.
Some incentives for getting up early include allowing them extra time in the morning so they can play before leaving for school, offering breakfast while still in pajamas or letting them wear an outfit of their choosing.
Don’t Let Your Child Drag You Into Arguments
Arguing with you child is never an effective way of resolving issues and as parents, we need to learn to not engage every time our child/children makes an attempt.
Always make sure your children are know that they can come to you about anything - but it should ALWAYS be in a calm and informative way.
If your child comes to you looking to force a confrontation because they don't want to go to school, calmly but firmly explain the consequences of not going to school whilst also offering them help to figure out why they do not want to go to school and what can be done to resolve the problem.
Hard as it is, as parents, we have to do the best we can with what we've got and accept that there are certain thing that we have no control over (and never will). It is so easy to feel like we are the ONLY ones being put through the wringer, however, this is far from being the case...
Youth culture, and many of the professionals who have embraced it, push the idea that children should not be held accountable for failing to achieve their goals. Instead, they encourage kids to sidestep personal responsibility in order to avoid failure or discomfort.
By either not teaching them about or allowing children to take responsibility for their own actions, they are raised with a large part of social education missing - something that will likely lead to a rather large shock to the system when it is then required/expected of them as an adult!
Recognize that change is never instant - it's doubtful that they will, as if by magic enjoy, or even tolerate, school in the short term.
Start where your child is at right now and progressively raise your expectations over time until you've reached your goal.
Be patient, check in with the school to see how things are going on a regular basis, and be persistent.