How to Deal with School Refusal | Child Anxiety Treatment

How to Deal with School Refusal | Child Anxiety Treatment

School refusal is a common symptom of child anxiety. In this case, a child repeatedly refuses to go to school or has a difficult time staying in school. If your child is not responding well to attending school, the tips below will help you improve your experience and your child’s. Read on to learn how to deal with school refusal in children.

Signs and Symptoms of School Refusal

School refusal symptoms can vary from one child to the next. Some children will complain of physical pains, headaches, stomach aches, etc. shortly before it’s time to go to school. If they are allowed to stay home, those symptoms will quickly go away, only to re-appear the next day. If the child goes to school, he or she may ask to go to the nurse’s office in an attempt to go home.

Other symptoms may include defiance, temper tantrums, crying, spending a long time in the restroom, or other acts that would delay going to school. These acts will most likely not occur on the weekends or any other time the child is not required to go to school.

Why Do Children Refuse to Go to School?

Many children dislike going to school because it’s hard work for them. In the case of school refusal though, there is usually an underlying factor contributing to the behaviors. For instance, a child with anxiety may not want to go to school because the stress of class feels overwhelming. A child who experienced a traumatic event at school may not be ready to face trauma triggers. A child may also experience separation anxiety in school, wanting to be close to his or her parents. There are many possibilities, and they are not always easy to pinpoint at first glance.

Finding the Source of School Refusal

In order to treat school refusal, you first need to know what’s causing it. We mentioned some possibilities above, but those are not the only ones. Try to determine when the school refusal first started. What happened around that time? Did your child switch to a new school? Did your child’s best friend move away? This will help you narrow down the sources.

You don’t have to go through this process alone. A child counselor can work with you and you child to find the source of school refusal, anxiety, depression, and other issues your child may be facing. At In-Home Counseling, we have many licensed child therapists on staff. Our in-home therapists make house calls, so you won’t have to worry about traveling to a counseling center. Your therapist will come to you. Give us a call at (847) 903-5604 to learn more.

Treating School Refusal in Children

Once you know what’s causing school refusal, you can make lifestyle adjustments to reduce those behaviors. For instance, if your child does not want to go to school because he or she is afraid of the bus, you may consider driving your child to school instead. If your child is processing a traumatic event, you could work with an in-home therapist for children to bring closure to that event. As with any anxiety treatment, this is a personalized process. The experts here at In-Home Counseling would be glad to guide you through it.


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