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What to Do When Your Little One

Doesn't Want to go to School

What to Do When Your Little One Doesn't Want to go to School

I was helping out a friend by dropping their little one off the school a few weeks back, and while I was there, I couldn’t help but overhear a little girl say

“Daddy, please don’t leave me here, please don’t leave me… please, please!!”

Unfortunately, it took me back to my days of pre-primary where I hated school and would plead with my parents not to send me there.

They tried lots of different things to try to encourage me to go, but I just couldn’t understand why I needed to go to some other place to draw and paint stuff when I was perfectly happy doing that in my little bubble at home.

So, I really felt for this little girl when I overheard her pleading with her Dad not to leave her at school that day.

There are lots of reasons why children refuse to go to school. One of the major reasons is separation anxiety – basically, they don’t want to be away from their parents or a particular care giver.

Thankfully, there are plenty of strategies parents can use to help combat school refusal related to separation anxiety (such as distraction techniques, playground observationsdealing with physical symptoms or a little one who comes home “sick” from school repeatedly, plus heaps more).

Pop over to our strategies section to check out a few solutions (make sure you click here to register and log in first).

How do you encourage your little ones to go to school when they don’t want to? Feel free to share your insights in the comments below!

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LianneRebecca HicksTaylor MobleyJessica BradshawCharlotte Recent comment authors
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Beth
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My little guy has those days where he doesn’t want to go, we cope by trying to talk through it and see what’s going on, often there’s a problem we can solve.

Lecy | A Simpler Grace
Guest

I wish I had read this a few months ago! We were struggling to get my niece to go to school and this would have been so helpful!

Divya
Guest

I remember – so distinctly – crying and not wanting to go to Kindergarten. I feel like it made me all the more anxious because some days my mom would give in and take me to work with her. I wonder how things would be different if she stayed firm and made me go. I wonder if I would have developed more of an independence earlier on!

Melissa Blake
Guest

I seem to remember this was me when I first started kindergarten…

Charlotte
Guest

This is wonderful advice and I know my heart would ache too to separate from a little one pleading with me. But in the end, socialization is incredibly important (though I was totally that little girl!). XOXO

Jessica Bradshaw
Guest

One of the things I always tell parents is don’t give in. Once it becomes an option it is harder and harder to get them to come. Usually when they are here, they are fine. It’s that initial getting in that is hard. Positive reinforcement is good. If you are on time every day for a week, we will have a special date (ice cream, dollar tree visit, etc.)

Taylor Mobley
Guest

I loved reading this! I do not have children but I do have nieces and nephews and these are great tips to pass along!

Rebecca Hicks
Guest

I never really had this problem growing up, but I see it a lot when I work the nursery at church or when I subbed at a day care. Love your suggestions!

Lianne
Guest

My little boy starts school in september and I’m really worried about how he will get on! He goes to nursery now but I’m worried such a big change will overwhelm him. Fingers crossed that I’m just worrying over nothing!
Lianne | Makes, Bakes and Decor

Kristin
Guest

Oh the pain! I learned to trust the teachers and caregivers, but the “I want you, Mommy” still tears up my heart. A wonderful, encouraging post.