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When My Child Refuses to Go to School

by Mommy Lyna
Posted on 11 March 2015

According to a study, 1 in 4 children across the globe refuses to go to school. Unfortunately, my third child is that ‘one’! Now at 4 years old, he still carry that same temperament even though I had sent him to kindergarten since he was 2 years old with a change to another school since then.

As a mother, I should not take it as a normal thing. There are reasons for school refusal.

In general, school refusal could be because of two things:-

  • The Push Factor - what happened at school. Something may have happened at school that could have disturbed them. It may also be because of the teachers, friends and anything. They may have something called ‘anxiety-based absenteeism’.
  • The Pull Factor - this is what happened to my boy. He is so clingy and has ‘separation anxiety’. However, after meeting his friends and as the learning session begins, he starts to enjoy himself.

What to do when a child refuses to go to school?

  1. Investigate what’s going on at school.

    As parents, we have to find out what’s really going on at school. The best way to find out is to ask the child and take their complaint as valid. Follow up by talking to the teachers or caretakers about the complaint.

  2. Set a baseline expectation.

    Especially for kindergarten - if they can’t make it for a full day, we can send them for maybe an hour or so. Don’t push them but encourage them to love the school.

  3. Make it less fun to stay at home.

    Set boundaries and set some rules during schooldays so that the child won’t feel attached to home during his school time. On the other hand, the school must be a ‘fun-land’ for the kids! Don’t stress them but give them choices.

Our bottom line is to plan properly, get mutual understanding with our spouse, decide and stick to the plan. When our children let their fear of school go away, they’ll be happier and thank us!


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