Identifying if a child is pretending to be sick can be an issue especially when your child is at a school-going age. There are a variety of reasons why children fake sick or play ‘hooky’.
Skipping tests, not doing homework and just a general dislike for school are but just some of the reasons why children fake their sickness.
So to address this problem, parents must know how to differentiate whether their child is really sick or are just honing their acting skills by pretending to be sick and get the day off from school.
How your child can fake sick
Usually, the more creative among children can easily mimic the symptoms of various common illnesses. Things like sniffling, coughing and shivering can easily be done by children, and thus, creating the impression that they are sick.
However, other more intrusive symptoms and severe symptoms such as vomiting cannot be as easily replicated, especially by younger children.
How to identify if your child is pretending to be sick
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Firstly, to check whether your child is pretending to be sick, try and check the medical evidence as carefully as possible.
Things such as taking the temperature should be done to ensure the legitimacy of your child’s ailments. If the temperature is not close to the 37.6 fever point, then chances are your child is faking sick.
Also, remember to be with your child at all times since there is always a chance that the child will rub the thermometer on a foreign object, thus raising the temperature and creating an illusion of being sick.
Remember to check the throat and the tonsils for swelling, especially when the child complains of a sore throat.
Actions speak louder than words
Secondly, do remember to look out for contradictory actions from your child as compared to the symptoms that they are claiming to be suffering from. Things such as shouting when they complain of a sore throat, are sure signs that your child is faking sick.
Children typically are very lethargic when they are sick so if you see your child as sprightly as usual, there is a chance he is just pretending to be sick.
Usually, a mention of a trip to the doctor results in a ‘miraculous’ recovery, thus showing that your child is pretending to be sick.
Find out why
However, there could be underlying causes as to why your child feels the need to feign sickness to get out of school. It is very important to know exactly why your child is faking sick.
Talk to your child about it, it could be that the child is bullied, the child is feeling the stress from school or it could even be that your child has seen you use an illness as an excuse and as a role model; they mimic your actions and are trying their luck at it.
A child fakes sick for various reasons. Only when you identify this problem and go through it with your child then can you truly eradicate the problem of your children faking illness and playing hooky.
Have your children ever pulled a sick act on you? If so, tell us about it!
Check out this video for more tips to figure out if your child is pretending to be sick.
Also read: 6 warnings your child is a victim of bullying