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Truancy: Why children play truant
Truancy! Why do they do it?
Do you know that most children have played truant at least once in their life?.
A boy in his late teens said , 'I played truant when I was about 9. I fell in with wrong crowd
My Mum introduced me to these children when we moved house. I was so unhappy because I missed all my old friends. I remember sitting at the window crying and saying I wanted to go back to my old school. To solve the problem, my Mum asked our next door neighbour if i could play with her 3 sons. They were 9, 11 and 13. Little did she know that she had unwittingly introduced me to truanting.
My new friends would come round and we would walk together to school. Then one day, we decided to go to the shops instead. No one seemed to notice, so we did it again and again. We ventured further and further from home and started shop lifting .for fun.
One day, we were caught shoplifting by what I thought at the time was a Police Officer! Looking back now, he must have been only a security officer! He was intimidating in his uniform , and he threatened to tell our parents. After that, I never truanted again! We were not really bad kids,the truth is we did it because we were able to get away with it!'
Recently, while teaching a Sunday school class of 8-11 year olds, I broached the subject of truanting. 75% of the class admitted that they had 'bunked off school'. These are children of parents who would never knowingly let their children miss school. So how did they manage to pull the wool over ther parents eyes? They told me that they would pretend to be ill and that their parents always fell for this lie!. I asked them why they had wanted to ‘bunk off’.
Some said they just couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed and so decided to have a ‘duvet day!. Children who have ‘duvet days will usually have a .'miraculous recovery' round about midday. Once this happens TAKE THEM INTO SCHOOL !.
If you discover a pattern of 'miraculous recovery', when next they tell you they are ill, be sympathetic, send them to bed, do not let them play games or watch telly, as they are 'too ill'. In a nutshell, make it as boring as possible to be at home! If they are really unwell, they will stay in bed. If they are pretending, they will have an earlier miraculous recovery 5 -10 minutes later!
In additon,, if you are not sure if they are telling the truth, take them in to school anyway! most school have at least 4 first aiders and in there happened to be an emergency they would do exzctly what you would do! call 999!
Bullying was cited as another reason. If you think your child is being bullied, you will need to make the school aware of this as soon as possible, so that the bully can be dealt with .Most schools have policies to deal with bullying. Failure to deal with bullies has led to children becoming depressed, developing eating disorders and worst of all, committing suicide.
Problems at home such as domestic violence and child abuse issues were mentioned as well. Some children may decide to stay off school to protect their Mum or Dad from domestic abuse. In addition, an abusive parent may keep a child off school after an episode of abuse on the child, so that any bruises or scars have time to heal and disappear.
Some families have historical poor school attendance issues which go back at least 3-4 generations. Grand dad played truant, Dad, did the same, and now see no benefit in his son attending either! such parents will make commenets such as' i never attended school, and it did me no harm. In such cases, parents will collude with the child to keep them off school. When the parent is asked why the child has not been in school, they may pretend that the child has been unwell. However unless a child has an underling medical illness , they should not be having one or two days off school every week! To discourage this, In England, local authorities may ask such parents to provide medical evidence for future absences.. If the parents fail to provide this, they may be prosecuted by the Local Authority. Another form of colluding is parents taking children out of school in term time without permission from the head teacher. This can lead to them being fined by the Local Authority.
Some children may truant because they find the work too difficult/too easy , In such cases, parents must work with the school to overcome these difficulties. This could involve adjusting the work to meet the needs of the chlld.
has your understanding of truancy improved?
books about truancy
Truancy is a serious behavioral disorder and is never developmentally appropriate. The child may be going thruogh severe stress in his/ser life to take up such extreme step. It is one of the most important...
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