What Is School Refusal And What Can I Do About It?

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Have you noticed that your child is having a hard time going to school? This may be a sign of school refusal. 

School refusal or school phobia is an emotional issue, and the term is used to describe the signs of anxiety that children may exhibit before going to school. Many school-aged children experience these symptoms, and these are manifested in various ways. Read on to learn more about this topic and how you can help your children.

What Are The Signs Of School Refusal?

School refusal occurs when children experience intense, mostly negative emotions at the thought of going to school. This situation causes them to become stressed and ask to take days off and spend the day at home. 

It is normal for a child to ask to stay in bed one day and not go to school, even adults want to take days off from college or work, but this rejection goes beyond a desire that we all experience at times. There are some signs you can spot that may indicate that your child is experiencing a strong refusal to go to school:

  • Excessive crying or screaming when talking about going to school 
  • They desperately beg to stay home
  • They complain of illness or pain before going to school and get better once you let them stay.
  • Show high levels of anxiety 
  • They may experience sleep problems on the night before school
  • Attempt or threaten to hurt themselves 
  • Refuse to move, lock themselves in their room, or hide from parents

What Can Cause School Refusal?

There is not always a single or specific reason for your child’s refusal to attend school. Many factors can influence and provoke this anxiety in our children.

Recognize Your Children's Strengths:

Being New: If your child is starting at a new school or is new in town, the fear of not making new friends or not being included by new classmates can cause stress and anger.

Stressful Events With Peers Or Family Members: Your child may not want to go to school if they go through stressful situations with one or more peers, such as misunderstandings or fights. School refusal may also occur if someone in the family is ill or has recently passed away. 

Bullying: If your child is being bullied at school, they are likely to go through a lot of anxiety caused by the fear of being bullied by peers.  

Helping Your Children

Toley Ranz loves to help parents, whatever the circumstances. Talking and sharing are essential for parent-child bonding because they allow both parties to understand each other. Talking to your children about anxiety, what they are feeling and trying to understand the situation from their point of view can be a good start.

Sometimes children may have difficulty talking directly about things that are bothering them, and if that is the case, you can try asking them about different things at school to find out where the problem lies.  

If you find that the problem may be in a family situation, you can try to convey calmness about the issue. You can also talk to their teachers and explain the situation to them so that together you can make your children feel better at home and at school. 

Let’s build spaces of trust and understanding!

Copyright © by Anke Otto-Wolf - 2021 All Rights Reserved