School refusal is an actual disorder that effects children of all ages. When it is evident in the pre-schooler, it is called: separation anxiety.
The child who refuses to go to school makes for a very unhappy household. Imagine that every single day of the week, you have to get up and fight your child out of bed. And I mean every single week day. No matter your actions, attitude, or your promise, you are facing a child that refuses to get out of bed. You can bribe the child with money, bikes, fast food, coolest clothes, best ever shoes, sleep overs, cell phone, huge t.v. sets, or gaming systems, and the child doesn’t budge.
You start out sweet…come on honey time to get up, then you go to…come on hon, shake a leg, to… you must be getting up now…then you better get up, your gonna miss the bus, to… get up nowwww, I have been waking you up for an half an hour. Your gonna be late..there is no reason for being late. Get up and get ready, you can still make the bus if you get up this second….then, get your butt up and I mean nowww….if you don’t get up right now..no phone for you…no friends over…no computer time tonight. So, you better get moving or you can walk to school, I’m not driving you. Until it reaches the point of…if your late again the school will call the police. Get out of bed……..
It’s a feeling of parental failure, you don’t know how to “fix” the child. You can try to punish the child for disliking school. That always backfires. You can get the child to school, late but eventually. Still your hands are tied-because the child refuses to participate in his education. The child won’t do any of the class work or bring home books or do projects. You can’t rip him out of bed everyday no more than the teacher can force him to write an assignment.
Punishments and consequences don’t work. By law he has to go to school. The law doesn’t say he has to do the class work , pay attention, do homework, pass his classes with at least an average grade. Maybe the law is lacking in this department. It may be the only option for parents with children who refuse to school. The local police will cite the parents if the child refuses to go to school, which is ridiculous. The parent wants the child to go to school, do good, be an excellent student. It’s still the parent who is ticketed for failure to get the child to school. Some parents have knock down drag outs everyday with school age children–just because they want them to…go to school.
In most cases Mom is home in the morning getting the children ready for school. A simple task preformed by millions daily. If you are a Mom who has to deal with a hard head kid that has grown bigger than you-it’s a daunting blood pressure heart pounding stressful adventure. Mom can no more drag this kid from the sheets and dress him and push him on the bus, then she could move a mountain. It’s impossible.
If you have the battle of the school morning in your house, then you know what I’m speaking of. If you are happy for spring break, winter break, long weekends, holidays, summer vacation, and true sick days then you are dealing with a child that suffers from school refusal. If the child is struck with stomach pains that dissipate by mid-morning, or massive migraine headaches that relieve themselves within hours of the first bell ringing then you know the problem is really a cry for help.
Some experts believe the root of the problem lies within the school, something at the school is fearing the child. Be sure the child isn’t being bullied, or teased about anything. Touch base with the school to check on the child’s behavior in school. Is he acting out or getting into fights? These would be signs for concern and can be corrected. If the reason lies within the child, which is mostly the case. You as the parent will need help , start with an appointment with his Doctor to rule out the obvious.
You may be directed to get the child help from a therapist. Match the child up to a therapist that specializes in childhood inflictions. The sooner you get help for the child the better. The morning madness will ease. The child will learn to cope with daily stress creating a pleasant environment at home and school. The child will realize that school refusal is a disorder, and he will be armed with techniques to aid in his healing. School refusal isn’t something he’s doing, it’s something he is inflicted with. Be patient and you can both work through this time together.
Notify the school administration and work out a plan to aid the child. In many cases the school will reschedule core subjects at the second half of the day so the child won’t miss out on key learning classes. You can also work on -line with the child at home and research and study many subjects, enabling him to keep up with his studies. Express to the child that you are always there for him. Ask the school if the child can call you during lunch so he may feel your connection and know you are waiting for him at home. Separation is the main reason children don’t want to go to school. They fear the parent won’t be there when they get home, especially after what they put you through that morning. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your teen doesn’t miss you when he has to go to school, because he is becoming independent and doesn’t act like he does. It’s the root of the problem. If the teen is allowed to sneak off and call you -it will ease his mind. Hopefully it will prove to him you’ll always be there for him, unconditionally.