School Refusal

  • Helping Your Child With School Refusal

    • Listen to your child and acknowledge her feelings. Talk with your child about their concerns, and the reasons why they are avoiding school. Say things like, “I know you are worried that something will happen to me when you are in school” or “I know you are afraid you’ll blank out during the math test.” Do not minimize their experience by saying, “That’s silly; there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

    • Model good stress management and life coping skills. Learn how to defuse your own anxiety by using relaxation techniques, and then teach them to your child and family.

    • Contact your child’s school to see if anything is happening there that is creating school avoidance. For example, problems with the teacher, an inability to understand the work, problems with peers, bullying, or other forms of violence.