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Try this next time your child refuses to go to school


My bedroom door flung open, the lights snapped on, and I saw my 7-year-old son through my blurry eyes.

“I am not going to school today and I don’t care what you say,” he announced to me.

He said it again.

Then one more time for effect.

“I hear you, sweetie. Give me a minute to wake up and we can talk.”

“Nope. There is no talking. I am not going and that is final. I hate learning. School is boring.”

Gotta give him an A+ for conviction.

Decisiveness mixed with a bit of compassion and thoughtfulness is always a good thing.

Try this the Next Time Your Child Refuses to Go to School

Try this Approach the Next Time your Child Refuses to Go to School

My son is an explosive child. I have to be careful choosing my words with responding to his declarations.

I have worked hard to get to the point where I’m able to see through his behavior in order to understand and therefore be able to address what is truly behind the behavior.

I have learned over the years that challenging behavior is rarely driven by what is clearly in front of you. {In this case, my child telling me he doesn’t want to go to school because he hates learning.}

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Some may call it a superpower but for me, being able to successfully decipher my son’s behavior, took a lot of trial and error.  There is no magic just a whole lot of grit.

He left the room and I managed to crawl out from bed. As I walked into the kitchen, I saw my son sitting on my husband’s lap, his legs wrapped around his dad’s waist.

“That is a good sign,” I thought to myself feeling a bit of relief.

One on one interaction.

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“You can’t choose when you go to school and when you don’t go to school,” my husband explained.

“Yes, I can, and there is nothing you can do. School is boring. I hate learning.”

My husband acknowledged this statement simply by repeating it back to my son. Mirroring is a ridiculously effective approach to negotiating with anyone by the way.

My son nodded at the acknowledgment.

I observed and processed the interaction and my son’s behavior.

See Past the Behavior to the Real Issue

See I knew something my husband didn’t know. My son is insecure about his friendships at times and had a challenging time with a good friend in front of a few of his classmates. This happened over the weekend when his dad was out of town. I witnessed it but had moved passed it and thought my son had moved forward, too.

“Sweetie, your friends need you. They miss you…” my husband tried to cut me off but I gave him a look that cut him off. I felt conviction in this circumstance.

“No, they don’t…”

“I disagree. You’re the leader. Your classmates look to you for help with their school work, to play on the playground, and so much more. You stand up for your classmates and you always do the right thing. I know this about you.”

“They don’t like me. They hate me.”

“Sweetie, I am going to say something that you might not like to hear. Will you let me finish?”

He nodded.

“I noticed your disagreement with a few of your friends at Mark’s birthday party. I feel you may be hurting a bit from that situation because your friends saw. You feel bad and you’re a little embarrassed. Am I right?”

He looked over at me and he nodded…

The Tactic to Help Kids Get to School

My husband jumped in with the BEST tactic to helping your child get to school, to a party, to any event outside of your home.

He held gently onto my son’s shoulders, looked him softly and directly into his eyes and said, “You’re amazing at making friends. You’re such a good friend. You’re strong. You’re brave. You’re a leader.”

He filled him up.

He offered affirmations that filled my son with confidence and reminded my son that he has gifts and value.

These days kids seem more depressed than ever for a variety of reasons. That has to change before these kids become adults. Anxiety and depression stifle people and our kids are at risk for being and becoming depressed.

So, try it next time. When your child is pushing back, not wanting to go to school or to an event outside of your home, look past the superficial behavior and fill her up with all her goodness. Remind her of all her strengths.

I hope this tip helpful.





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