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When Your Child Does Not Want To Go To School

Probably a lot of parents have experience about kids do not want to go to school sometimes or anymore:

Some children will complain of some physical problems right before going to school.

Some children will have a tantrum when you try to make them go to school.

Some children will just skip out from school without parents aware.

The parents normally spend plenty of time and energy trying to get their children to school, but with no success.


Here are some steps to take.

  1. Check for physical causes. If your child complains of physical symptoms, have her/him checked by a doctor. Even you don’t believe so, but you don’t want to make that assumption and later find out you’re wrong.
  2. Talk with your child. Talk about what’s bothering her/him. Keep in mind, some children can’t describe what is bothering them. Don’t force conversation if it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. The most important message to convey is this: you believe your child can conquer this problem, and you’ll be there to help her through it.
  3. Find out the real reason and help them solve the problems. If you’re a parent, it’s almost inevitable that you’re going to be faced with your child not wanting to go to school at some point. The most important thing is that you identify the problem correctly. Is it workload, peer pressure, or your child’s individual way of coping? It’s vital for parents to look at your child’s situation closely: does he require more sleep or is there a social problem? Or is this a kid who lacks sufficient problem-solving skills to help him solve the problem of getting out of bed when he doesn’t want to? Sometimes kids are afraid of a bully, and actually, avoiding school is one of the first signs that your child is being bullied, so be sure to investigate that possibility.  And there are other kids who just don’t want to respond to structure and who have a hard time with authority. Not going to school becomes another avenue of acting out for them. In all of these cases, it’s important for you to understand that the kid’s refusal to go to school is his way of solving a problem that’s real to him. As we see over and over again with some children, the way they solve problems gets them into more trouble. That’s why it’s very important that you help your child develop problem-solving skills on his or her own so that when problems arise on any level over anything, your child will be able to think of a way to figure it out successfully.

Your child may also complain of being bored of school. Some research indicates that when some kids say they’re bored, that they’re actually mildly angry. And you know, kids do get angry with school, it is boring sometimes. But parents have to be able to tell their kids that it’s their responsibility to go to school. You need to say, “You have to go to school even when you’re bored. That’s your responsibility. It’s not about your mood, it’s your responsibility. If you want it to be less boring, find some more interesting things to do there to balance it out.”


  1. Set up a conference. Both parents should meet with the teacher and/or the school counselor. This sends the message to the school that you’re involved and committed to working on the problem.
  2. Keep an open mind. Don’t assume the teacher or the school has done something wrong. Similarly, teachers should not assume the problem lies with the parents. When stress levels are high, it’s natural to want to point the finger and blame someone, but it doesn’t do much to solve the problem. It’s important to make sure that any reality-based fears, such as bullying, are addressed and corrected.


  1. Do not make it appealing to stay at home. Let your kid understand he/she has to stay on the bed and rest if he/she feels sick and keep the TV off. This may sound obvious, but I’m amazed at how many kids stay home and basically have free reign of the house, doing whatever they please. If you stay home with your child, don’t offer lots of extra attention and sympathy, no games, no snacks or better foods than usual. When the kid feels better, have her/him read, study, sit upright at a desk.

It may sound cruel, but you don’t want staying at home to be appealing.


Although it’s unsettling to see your child intensely distressed about attending school, try to remain calm and supportive, but ultimately firm. Remember, your child needs to go to school – this is where children mature, not only intellectually but also socially and emotionally. By following the above suggestions, there’s every reason to believe that your child will overcome his school anxiety and, in the process, gain a newfound appreciation of his ability to hang in there and work through a tough situation.  If the situation is not getting better, but getting worse, you should look for a professional help.

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