The school years been going on now for a few months and everything seemed to be going smoothly when suddenly your grade schooler comes home from school and announces that he has quit school. He or she hates school and won’t be going back. What do you do? What do you say? Why does he or she want to quit school? Start by checking the obvious reasons.
Is Your Child Being Bullied
Yes, there are grade school bullies and yes they will find any reason to pick on the other children. Many children will protect the bully out of fear that the bully will hurt them worse or hurt their family. If your child is coming home bruised, overly hungry (bullies can and do steal lunch money and lunches), scared or nervous, depressed or some other way that is out of the ordinary, suspect bullying.
Talk to your child gently and assure them that bullies don’t have as much control as they think they do. Try to gently get your child to open up and share with you what is going on. Once you get this information you can then take it to the principal and get things taken care of. If the school won’t help you, consider the media. There is no room in today’s society for bullying. If a child is allowed to continue being a bully what will they grow up to be?
Is There a Personality Clash Between a Teacher and Your Child
Occasionally even in the tender grade school years a teacher and child will simply have very diverse personalities. Ask your child if he or she likes his or her teacher. If not, find out why. Does the teacher remind the child of something scary? Is the teacher loud and intimidating? Sometimes you’ll need to request that your child be transferred to a different classroom with a different teacher.
Is Your Child Getting Enough Rest
Several of our children hated going to bed. They hated it to the extent that one of them would fall asleep standing on the floor and laying his body across the couch. I tried moving him once, and he woke up and was up for another 12 hours. Some children simply don’t get enough rest at night. Set up a night time ritual and stick to it.
Studies show that children that have a routine each night fall asleep easier and sleep better. If your child is having problems falling asleep start the bedtime routine a little earlier each night until your child is falling asleep. A typical routine might be brush teeth, bath time, snuggle and read a story time and then into bed.
Is This a New School
I went to 22 schools before I graduated from high school. In each of the grade schools I was “the new kid”. When you’re the new kid one of two things happens. Either you’re instantly liked and everyone wants to hang out with you and be your friend, or you’re basically off in a corner all by yourself with no friends and nothing to do at recess. It’s very lonely and scary. If your child is the new kid, ask them about their new friends and encourage them to make friends. Perhaps join something in the community like a church or youth group to help your child make friends easier.
Are There Problems At Home
If parents are having a difficult time or perhaps even going through a divorce the child may be anxious and worried about what’s going to happen. Reassure the child that he or she will still be able to visit the other parent and that both parents love him or her. Encourage your child to talk about his or her feelings and help them through this transition.
Of course there are other reasons that a child might hate school and want to quit. These are just a few reasons. As a parent it’s not always easy to ferret out the reasons your child is struggling. Keep the lines of communication open and discuss with your child the reasons that school is important to them. Consider all options and bring in the teacher, school counselor and principal if need be.