Children who play truant often end up in trouble, whether it comes in the form of failing grades, a bad reputation or worse still, criminal behaviour
. Yet, it’s still a common problem in older children and teenagers. Dealing with a child who plays truant requires lots of patience and determination. Here are some tips to help you along.
Talk to your child
Firstly, find out why your child is skipping school. It may not be because your child is lazy or uninterested in studying. Some children choose to skip school because they are being bullied or because they are feeling too stressed from a heavy workload. Find out the core issue that is causing your child to play truant and tackle it head on
Get to know his friends
Older children often have to deal with peer pressure on a daily basis. Your child may just be playing truant to fit into the ‘in crowd’ at his school. If you don’t know anything about your child’s friends, your best bet is to talk to his teachers. Find out if your child is spending too much time with kids who have exhibited behavioural problems in the past. Meeting with teachers is also a great way to investigate the school’s safety and its ability to deal with delinquent behaviour.
Go the extra mile
Walk or drive your child to school whenever possible and always wait until he passes the school gate. Most schools now have a security guard situated at the school gate, so if you’re worried that he’ll leave in the middle of the day, alert the guard to look out for your child.Provide support wherever necessary
If your child is skipping school because he can’t deal with the work load, you may want to hire a tuition teacher to help him with the subjects that he is struggling with the most. Talk to your child’s teachers about remedial classes available for weaker students as well. If he is being bulliedor harassed in school, bring the matter up to the school’s discipline master and ensure that something is done about it. Every child should have the right to attend school without fearing for his safety. As for bad company, you’ll have to talk to your child to dissuade him from hanging out with them. Hanging out with delinquents can lead your child down a very bad road, so it’s best to take action as soon as possible.Explore other schools in the area
If your child is playing truant because he is being persistently bullied, or he simply can’t deal with the workload at his current school, consider switching schools. Obviously, this should be used as a last ditch attempt as changing schools can be tedious and disruptive. However, if you’ve exhausted all other options, this may be a good one to consider.