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When Your Kids Become Disinterested In School

Were you someone who liked school when you were younger? Maybe it was one of the most interesting times of your life, and you packed as many extracurriculars as you could into your days? Maybe you didn’t find your flow with it until you were a bit older, going off to college to study for the degree that made your career? Maybe you loved the learning but hated the environment, and left as soon as you were able to? And now you’re

School is something we all have to go through. Education is very valuable in the modern day and age, and you’ll be very hard pressed to find someone who never went to school, or who doesn’t know how to read and write at the least. Because of that, we consider it a natural part of life, with all its trials and tribulations that we help our kids through to the best of our abilities. And there’s all kinds of schools out there, with their benefits and drawbacks alike, and some models will work better for your kids than others!

But sometimes, our kids become very disinterested in the idea of school, and sometimes even refuse to go. And that’s when the whole love/hate relationship most of us have with school can become a bit dangerous – attendance drops, learning ability drops, and it can feel like you’re on a timescale to get your kid back into school before the repercussions hit.

So it’s clear we could do with a bit of advice in a time like this, and thankfully, you’ve come to the right place if you’re in need of it. Without further ado, here’s a couple of things you can do when your child starts resisting the idea of school, and you’re not sure what else to do.

Work Out the Problem

The main focus of this idea is to make sure it’s not something serious, and that your child has nothing they’re actually worrying about when it comes to having to go to school. After all, there’s a lot of issues with the school system we can’t ignore, and various ones are going to affect your kid’s development from time to time – whether there’s some bullying going on, or the work is too hard and they’re unable to focus, discovering the root is going to make things so much better.

So if you notice your child’s willingness to go out the door in the morning slipping, or you notice how long it takes them to get on with their homework, or you get a phone call from a teacher who’s worried about the way your child acts in class, be sure to sit down and talk to your son or daughter. Make sure they know they’re safe to talk to you, and that whatever’s going on is something you can either help with or fix for them. Sure, a lot of the time we want our kids to be able to fight the battles that come their way, but when they’ve got years of schooling ahead and they’re already at a disadvantage with the process, you’re going to want to help.  

If they open up to you, that’s great! You can go on to tackle the problem, hopefully together, and it should be the end of it. But a lot of the time, it’s going to take a bit of time and effort on your part to encourage your child to tell you the problems they’re having. Remain calm, never raise your voice or hurry them along, and make sure it’s only you and them; sometimes kids don’t want to share their problems with the whole family, so be sure to be mindful of the setting you’re talking to them in as well.

Talk to the School

Once you’ve found out the problem, or you’re unable to discover a route of what’s going on, be sure to contact the school and make them aware of the problem. You want your kid’s teachers to be on their side, making sure they’re looking out for your child in class, and have an extra eye on them in the playground or the cafeteria during lunch. Sure, they’ve got 30 or so other kids to look out for as well, but it’s always better to bring this kind of attention to their doorstep to make sure they understand the extent of what’s happening in their classroom.

At the same time, you’re going to want to talk to the principal as well, especially if bullying is occurring and they don’t seem to be aware of it. Be sure to sit down and talk through the entire problem at length, and ask the headteacher what they plan to do about issues like these. Even talk to your neighbors and friends who have children, and see if the same experience is happening to their kids – 2 or more heads is always better than one when it comes to combating a problem!

And if you get called into the office, to either review your child’s progress after some recent trouble, or for a parent’s evening chat that you know is going to have some bad things to say, make sure you’re aware of how to answer any questions or queries put to you. It’ll go a long way to supporting your child, and showing off the unified front you have with your child that you’ve worked for since the day they were born!

Realize Your Options

Quick sidebar: Have you ever heard of school refusal? It describes a type of phobia in which a child often feels physically sick at the thought of going to school, but the symptoms disappear when they’re let off having to actually go. Whilst this sounds characteristic of a child who’s simply faking being sick to make sure they get a free day at home, it’s actually quite a serious condition. You see, even when a child doesn’t want to go to school, and actually begins shaking and crying, and maybe even throwing up at the thought of it, they still want to learn like they would normally, and go on to do great things with their life.

And this is where your child’s disinterest in school gets extremely complicated. You can’t force them to go, it’s only going to make them sicker and more scared of the idea, but you can’t keep them solely at home either. So you’re going to need to work out your options, and get to enforcing those to keep your child healthy and happy. Maybe you could work out a plan with the school that allows your child repeated but minimal exposure with a classroom, to get them back into the swing of things? Maybe you could begin homeschooling them part time, or even full time, depending on the schedule you and your partners have already.

Or maybe you could try moving their learning platform online, and discover all the different e-learning options there are out there. Some schools even like to employ it full time, to make sure your child learns everything they need to know to take on their exams, no matter where they are in the world! And when prestigious educational institutions put out online degrees, like that of an online operations management program, you know more and more schools are warming to the idea. Accessibility really can help to overcome the effects of an anxiety condition like this.

Work with Your Kids

So now that you’ve done all your research, and you know what you’re going to do next, and you’ve got the school on your side to help you see it through, you’re going to need to bring your child’s full attention to it. Hopefully they were there for the entire ride, seeing what was going on, listening in, and being told in full what their part in the process would be. Don’t worry too much, kids can be quite resilient, and when you’re holding their hand or standing behind them, they’re going to be all the stronger in taking on the world.

Once again, you may want your child to be able to face the world with a smile on their face, but this confidence doesn’t come naturally, especially when they’re had quite a few knockbacks! So when they have moments of doubt, or they cry over the fear, or they get frustrated with the work again, be sure to sit down and talk it through with them. This kind of support is indispensable to their future success, and when an adult they know, trust, and love is there to help them, they’re going to feel a lot more prepared.

How are Your Kids Doing at School?

Hopefully they’ve got a full ride ahead of them, and plenty of knowhow and patience on their side to see it through! But if they don’t, you’ve got a few strategies to use.

About the Author

Amanda Acuña an influential Mom Blogger. She created MommyMandy as an online resource to the parenting community. She is married to her high school sweetheart and has three daughters, ages 16,13, 6 and a son who is 3. They currently reside in Texas.

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