My son has recently started saying that he doesn’t want to go to school

Dear Dr Gray,
My son has recently started saying that he doesn’t want to go to school. When we get to school he doesn’t want me to leave him and cries when I do. I have tried being nice to him, I have tried getting cross with him, nothing seems to work. He has always been quite anxious and not very confident. What should I do?
Annabel (Fulham)

Dr Gray Replies……..

Dear Annabel

Most if not all children will at some point with go through a phase of not wanting to go to school, in fact it is quite normal for all of us to feel from time to time that we do not want to do the things that we have to do, particularly those things that we have to do on a daily basis.  The first thing to do is to talk to your son about why he doesn’t want to go to school, but do this in the evening, when you have lots of time and when he is feeling calm, don’t wait until the morning when you are in a hurry and he is feeling anxious. Let him know that it is your job to help him to sort his problems out so that he doesn’t feel he has to deal with things on his own. Also speak to his teacher and enlist her help so when you leave him in the morning he will again feel that he has not been left on his own with whatever is making him anxious. Once you have identified what he is anxious about and helped him to deal with it, turn going to school into a good thing by using incentives or rewards. Finally make sure that you are calm and confident in yourself, our children learn by example. If at any point you feel out of your depth get some help from a professional therapist or counsellor who will be able to guide you in building your son’s confidence and reducing his anxiety.

If you or your child are suffering with any of the issues discussed in this article and would like to seek professional help then you may find our pages about Anxiety & Child Counselling useful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Related Posts

post christmas depression

Christmas has made me depressed

Dear Dr Gray, I am worried that there is something wrong with me. I really didn’t enjoy Christmas, if I’m honest, I never do. I am surrounded by my family, have time off work and pretty much spend the whole time counting the days until I can return to normality. This makes me feel really depressed, everyone else is having

Read More »
back to school

Coping with Back to School Anxiety

When we are faced with something new or unfamiliar our threat or fight/flight response kicks in.  We have evolved to respond in this way, it’s a survival strategy, if we aren’t sure what awaits us, nature believes it is best to expect and prepare for the worst: In the days when we might have found ourselves foraging for food, if

Read More »
Depression therapy

Not the Grades They Wanted? 3 Things That Can Help

The majority of us get anxious over exams and receiving exam results can be just as nerve wracking. Here are three things you can do when your child doesn’t get the grades they wanted. Actively Listen Active listening is a skill using both verbal and non-verbal signs of listening. Such as positive reinforcement, summarising and clarification, maintaining eye contact, mirroring

Read More »