Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

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Most kids, even if they grumble occasionally, tend to enjoy their time at school, or at least be willing to get up every day and go. When your child refuses to attend school or is so miserable attending school that every morning is a battle, there may be something more going on.

If your child is avoiding school, it might go a little deeper than “not liking it.”

A child who is refusing to attend school or putting up a fight every morning may be doing so for many reasons. If your child is consistently complaining of headaches or stomachaches on school days, this could be a sign of underlying anxiety on the child’s part. It could be caused by the separation from home or other family matters that cause distress, but it could also be the sign of an academic struggle.

The first step is to contact the teacher and see if they can shed some light on the situation. Maybe the child is having difficulty with friendships or is being bullied. If so, steps can be taken to make school a more welcoming place to be, and most schools have no tolerance policies that can be leveraged to help protect your child.

Your child may be struggling academically. Even if the teacher says your child is just not putting in the effort, it may be because they are struggling. Your child may need extra help in a particular subject. Your child may have an undiagnosed learning disorder or challenge that is making it more difficult.

Keep the lines of communication with your child and the school open to identify problems. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or request assessments if you think your child might have an academic challenge, and hold your child’s school to whatever no-tolerance bully policies they have.

It can be hard to tell the difference sometimes between a kid who just likes to sleep in and one who really is having a problem at school, but there are support systems available to help.