When Children Don’t Want to Go to School By Linda Perlmutter, School Adjustment Counselor

Children may not want to go to school for many reasons, some you may know others may

not be so clear. Some of the easiest triggers are things such as bullies, problems with

friends, not getting along with a teacher, or the work is too hard. Sometimes the trigger is

not easy to identify and your child may not want to go to school because he/she does not

feel well. Your child may have general complaints about headaches or an upset stomach.

If asked, he/she may say everything is all right at school or he/she does not know why he/

she does not want to go. So what can parents do when their child does not want to go to


A call or visit to the pediatrician is often a good place to start so that any illness can be

ruled out. Understand that even though the symptoms may not be the result of an illness,

the symptoms can feel very real, especially if they are caused by anxiety. Once illness

has been ruled out, parents can talk with their child and/or the school to try to figure out

if there is a problem causing the child to feel this way. It is important to send your child

to school every day, the longer a child stays out of school, the more difficult it is to get

him/her back. Make a plan with your child for when symptoms happen during school.

If the problem is ongoing, talk with your pediatrician and school counselor to see if

counseling is appropriate.

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