In school refusal treatment, we’ve found that there are many reasons a child may not want to get on a school bus or get out of the car to enter the school building. Adolescence is a difficult period of time for many children–they have so many hormones, activities, and responsibilities to deal with, it can all become difficult to handle.
Bullying and anxiety are some of the top reasons for school refusal. The anxiety of going to school can arise from stressful life events, such as moving, or it can even be caused by the bullying. It’s hard to know exactly why a child is experiencing school refusal, but there are ways to deal with bullying and anxiety.
Working through bullying and anxiety about school
In a recent CNN article, a woman detailed her experience with school refusal—because she went through it as a child. She had multiple cries for help, but her parents didn’t see it and she suffered for quite some time. This isn’t a rare occurrence; we see it pretty often in school refusal treatment. She was bullied by her best friend which made her not only not want to attend school, but it gave her an immense amount of anxiety. In the article, she outlined advice for parents of children struggling with school refusal:
- If you see the signs, get help immediately. In our society, there’s a strong stigma against mental health issues and struggling with school—this causes many parents to not seek out school refusal treatment even though it’s desperately needed. Instead of forcing your child to continue in a broken system hoping they’ll grow out of it, turn to a professional for guidance.
- Figure out where the problem lies. Now a psychologist/therapist/psychiatrist can help you out with this one, but it’s important to not rely solely on them. As parents, you are a unique figure in your child’s life and they may disclose more information to you than to a psychologist/therapist/psychiatrist. Is it separation anxiety? Are they being bullied at school? Have they experienced a traumatic event related to school? The underlying issue is imperative to helping your child through school refusal treatment.
- Try not to “reward” your child for staying home. As much as you want to make your child happy, rewarding them for refusing or avoiding school isn’t going to do much good. Keep a schedule that is similar to a school day and strive to “maintain peer relationships through extracurricular activities.” Eventually they’ll have to return to some type of school, so keeping those social skills and relationship with education is essential to future success.
If you believe your child is struggling with school refusal or a mental health issue, it’s critical to get early treatment. This problem most likely won’t go away on its own, which is why reaching out to a professional for help is important.
Asheville Academy offers school refusal treatment
Asheville Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for young girls, ages 10-14, struggling with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and other behavioral or emotional issues. Our school refusal treatment uses the best tactics and therapeutic methods in order to help your daughter reach success.
For more information about how school refusal treatment at Asheville Academy can help your daughter, call 800-264-8709 today.