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When Your Child Doesn't Want To Go To School

Updated on March 26, 2011

When Your Child Is Upset About School

If your child is upset about going to school, it could be for a variety of different reasons and one reason should not be the blame in most cases as there could be more than one thing directly wrong at school or the very thought of going to school for your child could prove an upset.

Kids respond well to dealing with their problems, sometimes it's quite simple this way as you can soon get to the bottom of why your child doesn't want to go to school by talking to them and finding things out.Often a secondary talk with your child's teachers could also help gather some further information why they are unsure about going into school.

My daughter is having this problem at the moment with starting a fairly new school, but she also has a chronic constipation problem that could be why she is scared of going to school as frequent stomach upset must make her uneasiness worse. What we have done as a family is talk to her alot and try to get to the root of the problem, it might be useful to think up a small checklist of things to ask so you can cross them off your list....

Bare in mind that you want to question your child gently and not force words in their mouth as this could provide inaccurate information being relayed back to you.Things to ask could include:-

  • Is anyone picking on you? Child, teacher or dinner lady?
  • Has anything happened at school?
  • Have you been shouted at or told off and why?
  • Do you feel well?
  • Have you made some friends?
  • Why don't you want to go to school?
  • Is it a lesson that you don't like?
  • Do some teachers scare you?
  • Why do you cry when you have to go to school?

You might think of some better questions to ask, but for now that's a good start.It's all about getting to the bottom of things and working out what the problem could be and then working with the teachers to help sort it all out. My daughter for instance misses her brother when at school because they are in different year classes she never sees him like she did in her previous school, so as a suggestion I said to her teacher could she sit with her brother at dinner time so she'll feel a bit better? and they have done that for her which brightened up her day, although she is still a bit wary of school even now and we still haven't really got to the bottom of it.

Maybe it could be taking some time to get used to as she has had a bit of time off because of her constipation troubles, but she hasn't really had a full week in school so that could have made things slightly worse.

The best thing to do is to talk all the time with your child as they'll eventually let slip what the problem could be and whilst I just think that she (our daughter) just wants to be at home with us all the time, that's just not possible, because schooling is important for a child's development socially and for later years in life career wise.

Sometimes you'll find that a small problem that a child has had before may stick with the child and it could spiral into a whole heap of stress for the child like using the school toilets or eating dinners with other children for example.

Children could simply have problems with certain lessons in school, anything that represents a change for them or something that will stress them either mentally or physically and P.E is one lesson that most kids don't like, I know this because I hated it when I was at school, having to play football and be forced to play as a team is something that was mentally crushing and also physically I wasn't fit anyway and so I tried to avoid it any time that I could.

If your concerns are not getting resolved by simply talking to your child and your child's teachers and your child is still uneasy going to school then it might in some cases be a good idea to see a child psychologist who may be able to find solutions to your child's behaviour (Not been this route yet, but we are considering it!) maybe they might be able to think of things you have not and use some reverse child psychology to correct the problem I do not know, but it's worth a try if there is help out there, then why not?

I know that when your child is upset the easy solution is to keep them at home, but this doesn't really solve the problem and you are probably playing right into their little hands as that could be why they don't want to go to school, they might just want to watch TV and play with their toys all day.

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    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      If we think back to our school days yes there were so many different reasons why one day we might want to skip school. Youd daughter looks like she made her feelings plain lol

    • waynet profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Tully 

      7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Lol! there used to be a teacher back when I was at school in assembly who used to talk about Jesus all the time and his eyes were always wild looking and he kind of freaked me out! and he used to sing like Harry Seacombe but with a silly squeaky voice and the worst thing he taught drama classd aswell and he was more than likely mad and crazy!

    • Spacey Gracey profile image

      Spacey Gracey 

      7 years ago from Essex, UK

      I love the secret sweet stealing - the kids aer beginning to wonder why it takes me soooo long to get a biscuit out the cupboard for them - they haven't realised its coz I've got a gob full of mini eggs :)

      But back to the school thing - it can be the most silly things. My boy doesn't like assembly, to the point he would get really upset and shout about not wanting to go in - turns out the singing scares him and he is fine if he sits next to a teacher but he had been scared of school for weeks because of that.

    • waynet profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Tully 

      7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Yeah! that's a good idea!

      My daughter when she plays with her dolls and stuff lets slip what happens in the day as she says to her dollies that they should be quiet and if they don't they shall be sent outside and then when it's play time they will stay in in detention!

      Both my kids try to boss me around, so I eat their sweets! lol!

    • Spacey Gracey profile image

      Spacey Gracey 

      7 years ago from Essex, UK

      Playing schools at home is also a great way to find out what's going on - children relive experiences in play and either play things out the way they happened, or imagine it the way they wanted it to be. Very fascinating watching my school age son boss my younger one about when they play schools - you get to see how many rules and instructions they have to follow.

    • sophie_allen profile image


      7 years ago from Washington D.C. USA 20002

      Good read. Good questions here to ask our kids. Chatting with them is really an effective way of knowing what really bothers them. Sometimes mentioning the names of friends in school also works because if you ask kids directly, they may not actually tell you what's wrong but if you mention their friends' names, they will talk and tell you what's happening in school. This works with my son.

    • waynet profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Tully 

      7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Yes, that's a great suggestion. Thanks Sweets!

    • SweetiePie profile image


      7 years ago from Southern California, USA

      One thing parents can do, at least here in the US, is volunteer to help in their child's class. At the elementary school level teachers often need extra help with budget cuts since there are fewer assistants in the classroom. Helping out in your kid's class also give you the opportunity to see what is going on, and what might be bothering them at school. I know I did not like being teased in my fifth grade class, that was hard for me.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      waynet, good set of questions to ask. You are absolutely right, many times it is due to more than one reason.

    • waynet profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Tully 

      7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Thanks Mentalist Acer!

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      A psychological assessment is a supremely intelligent method of concern for implementing a new-found confidence in school for a child,thanks for the enlightenment waynet.;)


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