WHY IS YOUR CHILD AVOIDING SCHOOL?
School avoidance, also called school phobia, is quite common among children. They may refuse to attend school outright or give reasons as to why they should not go. Some common excuses children give for avoiding school include not feeling well, headaches, stomach aches, hyperventilation, nausea, or dizziness. Some may actually manifest symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or fever.
How Do You Know If Your Child Is Faking It?
Your child may be faking it if the school refusal symptoms occur on school days and are usually absent on weekends. You may also find that when examined by a doctor, no true illnesses are detected or diagnosed. It is still important to get your child checked by a doctor in case he/she is really unwell.
Reasons for School Avoidance
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How to Help Your Child Conquer This Problem
Talk to Your Child
- School-related anxiety
- Fear of failure
- Teasing by other children
- Anxieties over toileting in a public bathroom
- Doesn’t like the teacher
If the child has anxiety or is having problems with another child at school, communicating is the best way to find out the underlying cause of avoidance. Be sympathetic, supportive, and understanding of why he or she is upset.
Talk to the School
Speak to the school administration and to the child’s teacher if the problem is with another child or with a teacher, and try to resolve the situation. It may also help motivate your child to go to school if the teacher shows appreciation for your child and gives him/her responsibilities.
Sympathetic but Firm
Be sympathetic, but insist on your child’s immediate return to school. The longer your child stays home, the more difficult it will be to get him/her back to school.
Avoid Coddling at Home
Be extra firm on school mornings, when children complain most about their symptoms. If your child stays home, do not give him or her any special treatment.
Make School Days Interesting
Some ways to make going to school interesting could include making fun snacks for schools, carpooling with other kids to and from school, going somewhere special after school, etc. Make the activity fun but not a reward for going to school.
It may feel like tough love, but remember that in the long term, you are helping your child.