There is no single child who has never wanted to have an absence, it is totally normal and understandable, the rare thing would be to find the opposite. However, it becomes a problem when it occurs on a recurring basis.
It is in kindergarten where there are more cases of this style. The excuses that little ones usually give are headaches or abdominal pain that miraculously heals when they stay at home during the day. The next morning they magically reappear.
The reasons can be infinite and to assess them we have to take into account the age of the child, the reasons that a teenager or a primary school child may have will be different because their priorities are also different. In primary school children, the most frequent reasons are:
– Is he a dethroned king? In older siblings it is common that with the arrival of a little brother they feel jealous and want to stay home as an attempt to spend more time in the company of their parents in order to also receive their care.
– Have you spent a lot of time at home with your parents recently? There are children who, for whatever reasons, have an absence or two and have to spend time at home, they quickly get used to that situation, then they refuse to go back to school.
– Bad relationship with colleagues? If your child went to school every day and suddenly refuses to go, this may be one of the reasons. Talk to the tutor to explain how the situation is in class and what role your child plays in it. Is he one of the most popular children or is he one of the least loved? Are the other children laughing at him ? Also ask about how physical education classes are developed because young children place a lot of importance on physical performance and can become really cruel to those who do not measure up in that sense.
– Afraid of a teacher? With childhood children, the terror of a teacher can lead to not wanting to go to school. Perhaps it is a teacher who scolded or ridiculed the child at some point, or simply did something that offended him without intending it, we can not even imagine how sensitive they can be, due in part, to the development of the imagination from the age of 6- 7 years, which has the function of filling in everything that is not understood with its own meaning.
– Under performance school ? When the rules in class are too strict, children may experience fear of not meeting the expectations of the teacher or parents. The pressure is so high that they feel like failures and insecure.
– Anxiety about separation from attachment figures . Here the child does not want to go to school but not because the school scares him in itself, but because in reality what he does not want is to be separated from the parents (usually from the mother figure). They believe that something bad will happen to them if he is not with them, so they insist on not separating. In reality, the child behaves the same when the main attachment figure moves away from home. They want to be with them continuously and see school as one of those impediments.
– School phobia? It occurs in children who persistently reject school out of fear of it, producing authentic physiological symptoms related to anxiety, such as muscle tension, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, lack or excess appetite, etc.
We have to differentiate a simple school refusal from school phobia . The rejection can be for any of the reasons stated above and is a conscious decision of the child in a timely manner. In school phobia, the physical symptoms are more serious and if it is not treated in time, it can become chronic, making it increasingly difficult to normalize the situation.
HOW SHOULD WE REACT TO THIS SITUATION?
The best way to remove your fear of school is to go to it every day . Parents may mistakenly think that a couple of their child’s absences will not lead to school consequences other than the accumulation of homework. And yes, it is true, you will not fail a subject for missing 4 days. But if we allow our child to miss school out of fear, we are reinforcing the feared stimulus, so that these fears will gradually get bigger. The same thing happens with other anxiety-generating situations, if we avoid them instead of facing them, there will come a time when we will be more afraid of them even than before because the relief we feel after the flight will make us believe that the situation is worse than it was. really is. We’ll be mythologizing the stimulus, exaggerating it.
Children also have the plus of imagination , so their fears will become stronger and easier to believe. Therefore, if we suspect that something has happened to our child at school that may have generated fear, we should not give in by leaving him at home, not in order to avoid an absence but in order to prevent that fear from increasing in a while. future.
To make it easier for you:
– Find out why. Above we exposed the main causes. Well, we have to investigate which of all of them is due, to act coherently to the situation and take action . Ask the teachers , classmates, siblings, etc.
– Take your child to school at different times than class. For example, if you are going to talk to the tutor in the afternoon, take the child with you. It is good that you see that the school itself is not bad and that it is very different when it is empty than when it is full.
– Accompany him to school until little by little he gains more confidence and can go by himself. If you cannot, it must be an older brother who accompanies him . You can also ask the teacher to specifically look for you at the entrance door and to “guard” you for the first few days until class in case you are made fun of by a child from another grade.
– You have to make him see that going to school is something normal that is part of the routine of all children , and never punish a child for not going to school because it will take him even more mania, it will become a negative stimulus for him . To do this, set an example and tell them that all family members have obligations, that just like you go to work, they have to go to school.
Finally, if this behavior lasts for more than 6 months, take him to a child psychologist and do not let him pass, he will help you solve the root problem and not lead to it leading to something more serious.