Child doesn’t want to go to school: what can you do?

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    • What should you do if your child does not want to go to school? What if he complains about stomach pain or crying for the umpteenth time in the morning? Before you can solve it, you first need to know what the problem is. Read here how to find out and what you can do next.

      Not wanting to go to school: school is the cause

      There are many reasons why children suddenly become reluctant to go to school. Sometimes it is quite difficult to find out the cause. However, it is important that you know what is going on in order to be able to help your child. At least try to talk to your child. Do not do this when your child does not want to go to school and is angry or sad, but rather at a quiet moment.

      If your child isn’t a talker, it can help to bring this topic up when you’re in the car or walking the dog together. Some children talk easier if they don’t have to look at you and you don’t make it too hard.

      If you can’t figure out what the problem is, talk to your child’s teacher. Maybe they have an idea what’s going on with your child. Once you are behind the cause, you can make a plan of action.

      Common reasons

      There are a number of reasons that are fairly common as a result of which children no longer want to go to school. Here are the most common reasons, plus what you can do about it.

      Separation anxiety

      Often there is no clear cause. Some children simply have more difficulty letting go of their familiar surroundings and would like to be with their parents. This can also come into play if your child is going through exciting things, such as moving house or switching schools.

      What do you do about it?

      Leave the door on time, so that you have time to take your child to class and say goodbye. Some parents want to avoid drama by leaving quickly when their child is distracted. Don’t: your child will only become more insecure about this and will be afraid that you will suddenly disappear again. Prepare your child for your departure by talking about it in a positive way. For example, say: u2018Mama is going to work in a bit and I will pick you up again this afternoon and we will do something fun.u2019
      If you find it difficult to say goodbye to your child, don’t let him know. No matter how sad your child is, react calmly and leave firmly. Possibly make a joke before you leave to get your child out of his panic. Remember that if you are out of sight, your child will probably soon be happy again.


      As bad as it is, unfortunately bullying is very common. Children become insecure and reluctant to go to school when they are bullied.

      What do you do about it?

      Do you suspect that your child is being bullied or has your child told you about this at home, then talk to the teacher. They can keep an eye on things and deal with the bullying if necessary. You can also call the parents of the bullies. They often have no idea about their child’s behavior. If they know, they can talk to their child about it, so that the behavior will hopefully stop.

      Fear of failure

      Some children are naturally afraid of failure, other children become insecure because they cannot keep up in class or because they do not understand the teacher’s explanation. Fear of failure can cause your child to go to school with a stomach ache. What if he again fails to complete his task or makes mistakes?

      What do you do about it?

      If your child suffers from performance anxiety, it is important to compliment him and tell him regularly how proud you are of him. Even if he doesn’t just get tens. Explain to your child that making mistakes is okay and that no one is perfect, including you. Also talk to your child’s teacher. He or she has probably chopped with this ax before and can help your child to become less fearful of failure.

      Too many stimuli

      A class with thirty children, busy periods around the holidays or the fun, but restless weeks just before the holidays: it can all be a bit much for your child. Sometimes so much that your child no longer feels like school and prefers to stay at home. No hassle on your head for a while.

      What do you do about it?

      There is nothing you can do about all that bustle at school, but if you feel that your child is overstimulated and tired, make sure that it is extra quiet at home. So not a play date every afternoon, but regularly hanging out on the couch. Also put your child to bed a little earlier than usual and take the time to read extensively or to chat. By creating peace at home, your child can handle all the hustle and bustle at school a lot better.

      Not a good atmosphere in the classroom

      At most schools, children get a different teacher every year. Unfortunately, you don’t get to choose that, so you sometimes have the misfortune that your child encounters someone in front of the class with whom he wouldn’t click. The dynamics in some groups are also not balanced. There are all kinds of cliques, there is a lot of quarreling or there are a few children who negatively influence the atmosphere. Here’s how to find out how your child is feeling in class.

      What do you do about it?

      Replacing the teacher or classmates is not an option (although you might want to). All you can do is try to put a positive spin on it. Is there no click with the teacher? Talk to her. Don’t blame her, but discuss how you can work together to ensure that she has a better relationship with your child.

      Is there a fight between classmates? Talk to other parents about this. There is a good chance that they also see this problem and that you can make an action plan together (and with the teacher). Maybe something fun can be organized for the whole class to improve the bond or is training possible from school? You will see that when the atmosphere has improved, your child will soon go back to school smiling.

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