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July 25, 2018 Wednesday 12:00:17 PM IST

How to help children diagnosed with school refusal?

Parent Interventions

Some children are found to be deeply distressed at the thought of going to school. Reasons for such behaviour are many. Normal discomforts, health issues, slight problems related to adjustments to teacher and friends are frequently seen with small children.

If it reaches the level of school refusal which refers to an escalated psychological state of reluctance to go to school, parents and elders need to be a help to them. Such children may be going through stress and anxious thoughts and fear resulting from that.

School refusal generally occurs after a long period of school absence due to illness or holidays. or in the situation of changing school.

How can you be a support to such children?


1.      Acting early

Providing proper support to the child on time is a necessity. Late identification and delaying action can lead to behavioural difficulties and poor social adjustments.

2.    Proper communication with the child and school authorities

Discuss with the child when s/he in peace with himself/herself, the reasons that demotivates from going to school.


3.    Show kindness, but take a firm approach

Hold on to an empathetic and kind approach that helps the child to share and encourage trusting you. At the same time, be firm on your approach.

4.    Set proper daily routines and practices

Give clear and consistent messages to the child. Set proper daily routines and practices on off-days that mold the child for school days. For example, wake up the child early enough to get ready for school. Limit access to TV and internet during school hours. Reduce the activities like shopping on school hours.


5.     Engage the system in the process of helping

What happens in the school, home and surroundings influence and impact the behaviour of the child. Hence a constant monitoring and communication with people concerned are essential.

(Indebted to many sources)


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