School can be a mundane routine. The early mornings, the lengthy classes, the piles of homework can all serve to wear your child down. But sometimes, certain problems rear their heads unexpectedly and cause your child refuse to return there. While some children refuse outright to attend school, others turn to feigning illness to hide at home.
A concerned parent reported that her son Ron (not his real name) kept calling her from school saying that he was sick. Every trip to the doctor indicated there was nothing wrong with him but he still continued to have coughs and constantly pretended to throw up. It was later found out that he was being bullied at school.
There are indeed problems that are unique to school life that may be affecting your kid. Here is a list of the more pertinent ones and how parents could solve them.
Perhaps the biggest problem prevalent to why children refuse to go to school. Worse still, children often will not admit to their parents that they are being picked on because they do have some pride. As a parent, the most important thing you need to do is to establish a relationship with your kid. Get him to open up and share his problems. If this proves unsuccessful, talk to his teacher. Once bullying has been identified as the main problem, refer this to the school. Fortunately, schools usually have strong programs to deal with bullying cases.
It’s not uncommon to see Singaporean kids negotiate their way through large stacks of math worksheets. Asian countries have competitive school systems and parents expect their kids to not just pull through, but achieve top grades in their academics. What we do not realize, is that every child is different and certain children cannot cope with large amounts of stress. With parental expectations constantly weighing down on them, breakdowns are not uncommon. Identify the symptoms and ease off the pressure on your child. Read our article on dealing with stressed children here.
Let’s face it, school is mundane, no matter the variety of classes and co-curricular activities, it all boils down to 5 days spent a week in a guarded compound. Figure out the source of his problem, be it the curriculum, the teacher or even your child’s learning style. Talk to the school and you could even arrange for your child to be placed in special remedial classes or to attend personalized tuitions outside school. If your child has an interest in sports, academics or the arts, get him into a CCA where he can develop his passions.
4. Feeling unpopular
We all have seen these kids in school, those that have a few friends and eat alone in the canteen. Consider attending workshops with your kid to improve his self-esteem. Also try getting him into a CCA where he would be in a smaller group working towards similar interests. Remember to work towards helping your child like learning in school.
5. Inability to handle schoolwork
Is your child lagging behind in his work? Check in on your kid every once in a while. If you find that he has trouble grasping a subject’s concepts or he simply finds that the lessons are progressing too fast for him to keep up, have a talk with his teacher. It is absolutely normal to have a child who has trouble handling school work. Consider arranging for remedial classes and even sending your child for tuition after school. Parents should also help out in strengthening their kid’s weak topics, after school.