Every child goes through this process as this is a part of them growing up.
If your child refuses to go to school, it’s sometimes handled differently compared to when we were younger (yes I am sounding old!). The day that your child starts school can be just as hard on you as it is for them. Many mums will shed a tear (or thirty) when they drop their child off at school for the first time, but in time it gets easier for all involved. But what happens if it doesn’t? What happens if your child continues to struggle with socialising and settling into the school environment?
As a parent it is your legal and moral responsibility to ensure that your child is educated. However, as a parent it is also your duty to ensure that your child is happy and feels safe in his settings. If your little one is refusing to go to school, here are some of the reasons why this might be happening, and how you can help them break through these barriers and enjoy the academic environment.
1. Bullying and School Refusal
One of the main reasons why children do not want to go to school is because they are being bullied by other students or they are fearful of their teacher. It may surprise you to see what goes on behind closed doors. Many children are not willing to open up about what is actually happening, so you might need to see for yourself. Bullying can cause extreme emotional scars even from a young age and often the best thing to do is to discuss this with the school principal and possibly remove your child from this setting, especially if there is emotional bullying at play.
2. Separation Anxiety – Transitioning From Home to School
Some children love being at home. While your child may also enjoy going out on play dates, doing activities with other kids and spending time with friends, they may only feel comfortable in these settings because you are close by. School may be the first time that they are not by your side and this can be a terrifying thing for a little kid. When a child is used to the safe haven of home, anything unfamiliar can sometimes be pretty scary for them.
Before school starts give your child some time to practice by planning activities where you do need to leave. When you go over to a friend’s for a play date, ask if she minds watching them for a half an hour while you step out, just to test the waters. Just make sure you explain to your child what you are doing.
3. Explaining the World of Learning
Keep in mind that apart from being outside of their comfort zone, your child will also be expected to do a lot of new things that we take for granted. Not being able to get their shoes on fast enough, finding the way to the toilet and even opening their lunch box can cause anxiety when they are being watched and away from the home and the supervision of a parent. Before your child starts school, practice doing these things every day and help your child understand what school is about. Spend a certain amount of time at home every day colouring, practicing letters, reading books and singing songs so your child is prepared for these activities when they do start kindy.
Some children are going to love school while others are always going to hate it. The best thing you can do is to understand why they feel the way they do. In some instances, changing schools, changing classrooms or changing academic settings completely may be the only way your child can cope. Speaking to the teacher, doctor, therapist and child development professional can help you determine the best path to take when dealing with school refusal in a young child.
Being separated from their parent is hard for them, as the have been used to being with you most of the time.