Refusal to go to school. How to deal with it in 4 steps

There are times when the course is resumed after the holidays or a new one begins and the child does not want to go to school . You can say it clearly or make up a thousand excuses by hiding it, but you don’t have to be very clever to realize that what you want is to stay home: that if something hurts, that if you are not well, any sudden illness or discomfort could be a wake-up call to be aware of the little one and the reason for his behavior.

The most common is that it is difficult for him to adapt to the routine and a schedule giving up part of the daily fun. This does not present a great difficulty in the long term and it passes with the days. But it may also be that he has problems with other children, with teachers or with the environment in general.

We cannot underestimate their feelings or belittle their feelings just because they are children. For them, their world at that time is school and any setback they suffer conditions their life for a few years. The anxiety they experience can be due to different causes, these being the most common:


  • Fear of teachers (because they are new or because there is no understanding).
  • Fear of colleagues (because they do not know them or because of some conflict).
  • Fear of separation from the family.
  • Fear of disappointment by not achieving what is expected of him.
  • Fear of difficulties with subjects (especially in children with adjustment problems derived from ADHD or similar).


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How can we face that rejection and help our child?


  1. Listening and observing

Communication with the child is the best tool, for this you have to ask him and above all let him speak and listen to him. Do not assume anything without having spoken with him and let our intuition discover what it does not tell us with words. Talking with the child should not be done only when there are problems but every day. This is the only way to build a healthy relationship based on trust. So when there is a problem, he will tell us without fear of our reaction, waiting for encouragement and help, which is what we must provide him immediately.


  1. Know your school

And not only when we take it or leave it at the door, but also talking to teachers, always going to meetings, being interested in schedules, subjects, activities, homework, in short, knowing the world much better than our son lives day by day. So we can easily detect any abnormality or disorder.


  1. Bring him closer to his peers

It is very important to know who his classmates are, to meet them at school and also for our son to tell us about his experiences with them. It would be nice to be able to extend the relationship with someone outside of school if possible. Stay out of school hours or coincide whenever possible.


  1. Speak positively about school

Convey the good things about school: learning, recess, projects, friends, experiences … Also make the way to school something fun, just like going home. Try to keep him relaxed, perhaps listening to music and chatting about something fun. Telling him about our experience at school can be good for him. Of course, if we see that the problem persists and may be serious, speak up at school and take action. Never leave the child to his fate or allow him to feel alone.


As always, our instinct is essential both to detect discomfort in the child and to elucidate possible solutions. And if we do not believe we are capable or the situation overwhelms us, let us not hesitate to turn to a specialist. A psychologist can be of great help when we do not know what to do. The goal is to help the little one in any way. Of course, whatever we do, our love is the most important and greatest thing for him, let’s never forget it.


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