Most of us have been there at some stage with our little one. The dreaded “I don’t want to go to school” sentence.
You can be pretty much guaranteed that you'll hear those words on a day where you have a lot on or an important meeting in work that you just can’t be late for.
But what happens if it is more than "usual"? What happens if you begin to see it affecting other aspects of their lives or they are refusing to go to school almost every day?
If this is the case, they may have a school-related anxiety ‘school refusal’. Children with this type of anxiety will usually have trouble going to school and staying in school when there.
There are some things you as a parent can do to try to help.
How to help your child if they don't want to go to school
See your GP.
If your little one's anxiety manifests itself physically as a pain in the tummy or a headache it may be no harm to see your GP to be checked out. It is more than likely nothing but it will tick that off the list in the things you can do to help.
Keep a close eye.
It might be a good idea to keep note of when and where the anxiety stems from. Does your little one not want to go to other things like dancing or football practice, or is it just school? Does your little one not want to go to school on specific days? Try to see if there is a pattern or something triggering their anxiety.
Talk to them.
The best thing you can do for your child is to ensure they know that you are there for them. Try to talk to them about what is going on but don’t push. Knowing that you believe them and you are there for them and they’re not alone is all the need to know to begin with.
Talk to their teacher.
It is a good idea to keep their teacher informed about what is going on. That means that on the days that they do go to school, the school is aware of how they might be feeling and can keep an eye on them when you’re not there. They may also have an insight into what is going on, a view from a different angle of their life.