School Avoidance / School Refusal (School Phobia)
School Avoidance Disorder occurs when a child avoids school repeatedly because they are very anxious, scared, or upset. It can be hard for both the child and his or her parents. As a teaching tool for parents, it's important to know that School Avoidance Disorder is a real, complicated problem that needs understanding, help, and teamwork to solve.
Here are some ideas for parents whose children have School Avoidance Disorder:
Accept their feelings. Tell your child that their worries and fears are real. Don't ignore or make fun of their worries. Recognize how they feel, calm them, and reassure them. Set up a routine. Help your child make a plan for his or her day, including regular times to wake up, eat, and study. Structure and consistency can make people feel less anxious and more in charge.
Work with the school to encourage teachers and school leaders to talk to each other freely. Work with your child to figure out what is causing him or her to avoid school. Ask for their help to solve the problem in a good way.
Get professional help, such as the TWO TENTS Intensive Outpatient Program. Talk to a mental health worker or counselor with experience treating School Avoidance Disorder. They can give your child specialized advice and therapy that fits his or her needs.
Break tasks into steps that are easy to handle. Break tasks down into more straightforward, smaller steps if your child is feeling stressed out about schoolwork. This can lower stress and make the amount of work seem less overwhelming.
Exposure to school over time: Try a gradual introduction method if your child has trouble going to school daily. Start by having them stay in school for short periods of time. As they get used to it, they can stay longer.
Every child is different, so finding the right way to deal with them may take time and care. You can help your child beat School Avoidance Disorder and do well in school and life by being supportive and understanding.