School is one of the main areas that contributes to development as we learn. Of course, going to school is something that some children experience with excitement and joy, while others find it boring or scary.
In fact, sometimes one can meet children who for some reason refuse to go to the center and express strong opposition to this idea. And that can worry us, especially if the child in question is our child.
This is why many parents consider … “What if my child doesn’t want to go to school?“We discuss a few ideas in this regard throughout this article.
What to do when my child does not want to go to school?
“I do not want to go to school.” This is probably something that many parents will have heard over and over again, regardless of the age of their offspring. But beyond the simple lack of desire to go to school and to follow the courses and the regular functioning of the center, this sentence can hide many reasons.
They are all important and it is worth appreciating what can cause our child to say this, and put some sort of solution there.
In this sense, one must first know why in order to be able to act on it, and then start taking effective measures.
1. Evaluate why
While there is a great deal of variability in terms of what it means cognitively and emotionally for children to go to school, the truth is that an insistent refusal to go to school must first make us think about the reasons.
In many cases it will be for lack of desire, preferring to have fun at home or play, for fear of separating from parents, of living it as an obligation or for lack of interest and motivation, but we can also be faced with a school phobia, resistance due to the feeling of incapacity, stressful situations such as parental divorce, births or deaths, or the suffering of bullying. It is even possible that you are physically ill or going through an illness (although the eye with possible claims).
Analyze the causes that push the child to refuse to go to school it can help you establish an appropriate strategy to motivate you to do so or to provide a solution to any problem you may encounter. Among the different aspects to be taken into account for this, some of the main ones can be as follows.
2. Maintain smooth communication with your child
One of the main foundations of any type of positive relationship is communication.
In parent-child relationships, this is particularly important, so that the little one can express his feelings, fears and thoughts with confidence and without fear of explaining what might be happening.
3. Take into account your motivations and your difficulties
Sometimes the lack of desire to go to school is caused by a lack of motivation to do so, or by the existence of problems in attending classes or in understanding certain aspects of it.
That’s why consider your child’s interests and understand what drives them this can be useful to optimize your skills and encourage your development and willingness to learn.
Detecting possible difficulties is also a first step in establishing some kind of guideline or help that we can provide, such as helping with your tasks, explaining some concepts that you do not understand or even resorting to tutors. private.
4. Check for noticeable differences in your attitude before and after school.
Sometimes the existence of behavior and mood changes between before and after school can tell us that something may have happened to him, especially if he refuses to go to school.
In this sense, it can be useful discuss it with him in an assertive and non-invasive way, So that the child can express himself freely.
5. Have there been any recent changes in the child’s home or situation?
Another thing to keep in mind when trying to assess why our child does not want to go to school is the fact that there may have been a significant change or phenomenon that represents a huge change for him or her.
For example, the death of a loved one can lead to fear of losing another loved one or dying, which can prevent some children from separating from their families or leaving home for a long time.
The same goes for divorces and a possible feeling of pain or even the belief that the separation is his fault, Or in the face of the birth of a brother or sister, whether out of jealousy or a desire to protect them.
6. Talk to the center and teachers
Another element that can be important is to maintain smooth communication with the center, so that in the event of a problem, this information can be shared.
This is useful both for educating yourself as the parent of the child and for pointing out aspects that school professionals have overlooked. too much it allows you to generate strategies to solve possible problems such as bullying or the presence of stressful experiences.
It is also important to take into account aspects such as the child’s notes or journal, which can give us clues about the presence of difficulties in one or more areas or problems in the classroom with students, teachers or subjects.
7. Friends and other relatives: other sources of information
Another possible source of information we can turn to about whether the reason our child doesn’t want to go to school is because something has happened to him or just getting another point of view may be happening to friends. and other relatives.
It’s not about asking them about our sonBut they can often find out if something happened in class that might be interesting. However, we must keep in mind that we must first talk to our child, not go to others without delay.
How to react positively
So far, we have visualized some elements or aspects to take into account when evaluating what might happen to our child. But knowing that this is happening without more will not help us much because at the end of the day we have to give some kind of answer to this situation.
In this regard, some guidelines for action that may be helpful are as follows.
1. Take an interest in the situation
While this may sound simple and is often not usually taken into account on a conscious level, it can be very beneficial to show an obvious interest in the child and refuse to go to school. And it is that the fact that we are addressing their concerns is a sign of concern and support for it.
It is important to take this approach in a positive way, without overwhelming, violating or invading their privacy but showing that we care.
2. Positive attitude towards school
Going to school is an activity that can be experienced in many ways, but involves doing tasks that we sometimes don’t like.
In this sense, it is essential model for the child, Demonstrate a positive attitude towards school and academics.
Parents who show obvious rejection or dissatisfaction with studying, who point out that studying is a waste of time, or who ridicule those who do, will make school more likely to be viewed negatively by their children.
3. Support them in their tasks
Homework at school can sometimes be complicated, and some subjects can be a source of distress and discomfort for students if they are unable to understand them. In this sense, it may be appropriate support them and help them with their homeworkThis also shows an interest in him or her as a person and allows us to share time with our loved one.
Of course we are talking to help, not to do their homework or to take responsibility.
4. Promote your self-esteem and sense of self-efficacy
Whatever the reason our child does not want to go to school, it is very helpful to trust him and encourage his self-esteem and to think that he is able to do so. In this sense, it is necessary to show interest and support, to show him and reinforce his successes unconditionally and maximize your potential.
Environmental overloads they will encourage the little one to feel that everything he does could be better and is never enough. Destructive criticism, devaluation and comparison with others should be avoided.
On the other hand, overprotection is also negative, since the child himself may appear useless and feel that without outside help he is unable to achieve anything. It is about the child considering himself as a valid person at the same time who feels that in case of need he can turn to the help of others.
5. No rewards or punishments
It’s important to keep in mind that punishing for lack of desire to go to school can be counterproductive and turn your own school into something aversive. like that, we shouldn’t punish them for saying or feeling they don’t want to leave.
Likewise, there is no need to reward the opposite, because in this case going to school or expressing the desire to do so would be turned into a means of obtaining rewards.
What we need to try is that going to school is a natural act that we like or dislike, but it needs to be done.
6. Contact the center
Depending on the reason for refusal, it may be necessary to attend school and talk to those responsible for the problem causing it and to teachers. We are talking about cases like school bullying, or agreeing on common strategies to solve other problems.
7. Successive approximations
Especially when we are dealing with very young children, after a vacation period or when a traumatic situation has arisen for the child, it may be appropriate that the introduction of the child into the center is done gradually and gradually.
In other words, it can be practical that they spend a shorter period of time in school first to get used to it and reduce the level of anxiety generated by being in school.
8. Sleep hygiene
A final recommendation that can help foster a better willingness to go to school is to resolve one of the possible causes of resistance to school: lack of sleep.
In this sense, it is advisable to ensure that the child has sufficient time for rest and sleep during the night, on a stable schedule (You don’t always have to go to bed at the exact same time, but you should always go to bed at a specific time).
And not only the schedule, it is also important that the place where you fall asleep meets stable conditions conducive to sleep: light, temperature, space or stimuli that can illuminate the child (for example screens) must be checked.
It is also recommended that the bed be reserved for sleep and that it does not become commonplace that it is a place for other activities, otherwise the child may associate the bed with stimuli that activate it and make the falling asleep more difficult.
9. Use professional help
It should be noted that depending on the case, its origin and whether or not means are found to provide a solution, it may be necessary and advisable to turn to professionals, either from the center itself (if they have any). , or from the outside. Among these professionals we can find counselors, psychologists, speech therapists, physiotherapists or even lawyers in some serious cases.
- Butler, C. (2008). Conversation and social interaction in the yard. Aldershot: Ashgate.
- Ginsburg, KR (2007) “The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bond” (PDF). American Academy of Pediatrics. 119 (1).