Every child has days when they don’t want to go to school. Parents need to help their kids see the value
of school and occasionally make them go even when they don’t want to. However, a consistent complaint
about going to school may indicate deeper problems. How you handle the situation as a parent can
improve your child’s experience of school in.
When your child is consistently complaining about school, keep an open mind and use responses that
promote discussion rather than shut out a child’s feelings. Understood suggests responses such as
“School must be very challenging right now, what is the most difficult.” This will give your child the
opportunity to tell you what is bothering them. It could be a range of problems from feeling behind in class
to being bullied by other kids.
Find a Solution
Once you discover the root of the problem, work with your child to find a solution. If your child’s complaint
is about being too tired, maybe you need to cut out some after school activities so they can have a break.
When your child is concerned about social relationships, discuss how they can respond to different
situations. If your child feels like they don’t understand the course material, talk about hiring a tutor or
helping your child with their homework. Work out organizational plans so that your child doesn’t fall
behind on their homework.
Talk with Teachers
When you or your child can’t seem to find a solution, talk with your child’s teacher. They can help you
understand what is going on in the classroom. You can also work with your child’s teacher to develop
solutions that will help your child feel more comfortable at school. Talking with teachers will also help you
uncover even deeper problems your child is facing, such as an attention or learning issue or social issue.
The sooner you can find the appropriate help, the sooner your child will learn to excel in school.
Don’t ignore your child’s desires to avoid school. Don’t use statements that judge or condemn them for
their feelings. Instead, have a a conversation about what is bothering your child and work to find
appropriate solutions. When your child feels respected, they will open up about the challenges they are
facing and you can provide the support they need.
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