My Child Refuses to Go to School: What Do I Do?

Every day, over 56 million children and teens head to school. Many are happy to go to school, and some may try to fake an illness to get a day off, but some outright refuse to go. If your child is one of those children who outright refuses to go to school, the first thing you should know is that you’re not alone.

Wondering what you should do if your child refuses to go to school? You’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn about the solutions.

Find out Why Your Child Refuses to Go to School

Before you can do anything to address your child’s refusal to go to school, you need to do some work to determine why they don’t want to go. In general, there are a handful of reasons that children do not want to go to school. They may be experiencing bullying, dealing with academic performance issues, struggling with anxiety, or having behavioral issues.

Bullying is quite common in US schools, in fact, 1 in 4 children experience bullying at some point in their academic career. If bullying is severe enough, it can cause them to avoid school altogether.

Academic performance issues are two-pronged: underperforming and boredom. Some children may struggle to keep up with the rest of their classmates while others feel bored with the coursework and outperform their classmates.

Anxiety is common in school-aged children. It can be caused by separation anxiety or be the result of the previous bullying or performance issues.
Behavioral issues are also common in children. Some may struggle with authority figures while others may be seeking some sort of reward that they get at home, like video games or watching television. 

Seek Out Advice

Once you determine the cause of your child’s refusal to go to school, or if you need help determining the cause, you should seek out help from people like doctors, psychologists, or your child’s teacher. These people have great insight into what is impacting your child’s behavior.

They can also help you determine a treatment plan. If your child is dealing with anxiety, they can help them get therapy for it. If bullying is the cause, they can help stop it.

Create a Reward System

Creating a strong reward system can make a huge difference in your child’s behavior. Think about what they love doing but don’t get to do regularly and set small and large rewards for attendance. It helps your child associate going to school with good things rather than stressful things.

For example, for every day your child goes to school, they’ll get an hour of television or video game time. If they have perfect attendance throughout the year, then they get to a theme park or get a new video game system. Get creative!

child refuses to go to school

Get Your Child on Track for Success

It can be incredibly frustrating when your child refuses to go to school. Thankfully, with a little work, you don’t have to live with the frustration for long. Finding out the root cause of the refusal and working to resolve it can radically change your child’s outlook on going to school.

Do you have a child who is struggling with going to school? We can help you start to address the issue.

Contact Us

"*" indicates required fields

I'm seeking help with:*
I'm looking for services for:*
Fees & Payments*
The Sachs Center does not accept insurance. We provide a receipt for out of network insurance plans. We accept cash, check, credit, debit, HSA cards.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.