Unwillingness to go to school was formerly known as school phobia. It is an actual anxiety-based disorder. Because many children are vague in their complaints and are unable to express what is making them anxious, parents sometimes dismiss it as typical childhood willfulness. They feel that the child is stubborn and deliberately wants to avoid going to school. But whatever the reasons, it is important to tackle any long term aversion to school before the problem escalates. The effects of recurring school refusal can be far-reaching for the child’s education.
When a child suddenly resists going to daycare it is important for the parents to consider the source of the child’s unhappiness.
- There may be a change or new issue at the playschool. The parents should try and find out what is happening at the playschool. If a new teacher has joined, the child may not be comfortable with the new dynamics. The parents should talk to the teachers and pay more attention to the child’s words.
- The child may be having separation anxiety. As the child’s world is getting bigger and bigger, separation anxiety replays over and over again. To help the child feel secured and connected, the parents can make sure that he/she is anchored to a teacher or someone with whom the child is comfortable. If the child sees that his parents and the teachers have a strong and good interaction and relationship, it will help him feel connected to the parents during the time he spends at school.
- The child may be simply testing out what he can and cannot control. As a parent, giving in and meeting his wishes will not help. Instead, they should help the child by supporting the ability to cope with the situation. The child should be encouraged to express what he feels and the parents should try to see and understand his views and feelings. A vivid and specific picture of the fun at playschool can be drawn in his head. He should be able to picture what he will be missing out if he remains at home.
- The parents should make it less fun to be at home. If the child knows that he can sit at home and play during the school day, it will naturally make the child not want to go to school. The parents can set some boundaries and make it more worth his while to go to school.
It is sometimes seen that the child is not able to cope up academically at school. The parents and teachers should coordinate and help the child before it is too late. If the child is being bullied at school it is best to look for another playschool and immediately shift him.