What Can I Do If My Child Doesn’t Want to Go to School?

Have you been hearing “I don’t want to go to school!” a lot recently? Does your child argue every day when you drop them off in the morning? Maybe they have even pretended to be sick once or twice?

It is very natural for young children to dislike school. They must get up early in the morning. They are made to work when they would prefer to lie around lazily and let’s face it, many children dislike studying. Parents must try to make their children realize the importance of school.

If you want to make your child’s schooling experience to be enjoyable and valuable, here are five things you can do.

Identify the Reason

The most important step in making your child love school, is finding out why your child is resisting it. Is it because of their teacher? Are they under stress due to their grades? Do they find school boring? Or do they simply not like getting up in the morning? Before you can take any action, you need to have a full understanding of what it is you are dealing with.

Have an open discussion with your child. Ask them why they don’t want to go to school. Try to keep a calm and soft tone when asking what’s wrong. Sometimes, children don’t know the reason themselves, so help them identify it. Ask them questions like “Do you not like the teacher?” “Is it the school lunches?” Specific questions help you pinpoint what you need to focus on.

Calm Yourself Down First

Children are very sensitive to what their parents are feeling. Often, they will pick up on your emotions and unconsciously project them. If your child feels anxious about going to school, it might be because you feel anxious about dropping them off.

If the parent projects a sense of worry or fear, then the child may feel unsafe or frightened. Try to make yourself appear enthusiastic about going to school. If they see you being excited about it, then they will automatically see their going to school as something to be happy about. Having this positive outlook is important for your children and can serve as a motivation for them.

Another thing that parents do is placing too much importance on their children’s grades. If your child senses that you are angry over their grades, then they start feeling anxious. Your criticism towards your child’s academic achievement puts them in a lot of stress and results in their aversion towards school. Instead of being critical of your child getting a C, try to encourage them to improve. Encouragement is often underrated and can be a big tool in building your child’s self-confidence.

Make Studying Fun

It is a rookie mistake to think that simply telling your child about the importance of education is enough. You must show your children why they need to study. Make them realize that what they are learning in class is relevant. Try to make them connect what they learn in class, to what they see in their daily life.

Show them how algebra is used when you are calculating your budget. Tell them how plants grow and turn into vegetables when you are shopping for groceries. Point out the stars in the sky to give them a concept of space. Take them to the zoo and tell them about the animals they have discussed in class. Help them visualize their studies.

By incorporating real life examples, you are training your children to think about what they learn in practical terms. Make your children relate what they learn inside the class, to the world outside it. This way, they don’t just develop an interest, but also gain a sense of importance about what they are learning.

Help Your Child Vent

Parents often struggle with trying to get their children to open about their school life. This is because they lead into the conversation with the stereotypical “How was your day?” This usually results in the “It was okay” routine. Don’t ask generic questions. Inquire more about your kid and what they did through specific questions like “Did you make new friends?” “Did you learn something new in class?” “How was lunch?”

You don’t even have to ask. Sometimes, statements go a long way. Just by saying, “You don’t seem too happy with that project”, you could make your kid tell you about how frustrated they are with their work. Opening a line of communication with your child helps them relieve any study related stress and gives you a better look into what you need to help them with.

Become a Safety Net for Your Children

Instead of making your children do their homework on their own, help them with it. Even if you are only watching over them as they work, your presence creates a sense of safety for them. Let them know that they can come to you for any kind of help. This also alleviates the pressure of doing their assignment correctly, as they know you are there to help them with their mistakes.

Make homework time more enjoyable by designating a separate area for studying. Also, set a specific time in your children’s routine for studying. Clear away all distractions from their study area. Turn off the television during their study time. Through this, your children will be able to focus better and will enjoy doing their homework.

Besides homework, help your children prepare for quizzes and exams. Discuss their topics with them. Assist them in memorizing their facts. Make it easier for them to understand the subjects they are weak in. If they know that you are there to help them through the tough preparations, they are less likely to be pressurized by tests.

The key in these tips is remaining patient and positive. It takes time for children to adjust to school and some take longer than others. This is perfectly normal and can happen with anyone’s child. It is challenging to deal with this situation but you must keep on encouraging your child to view school positively. Once they start getting used to their school life, they will give you less trouble about going.

© Teresa Boardman, Nanny Options 2017.

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