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How to Support Your Child Through School Refusal Challenges

School refusal can be a heart-wrenching challenge for both children and their parents. When your child resists school, it’s often a signal that deeper issues need your attention and understanding. This article aims to equip you with effective tools and insights, including options like our CWG K12 program, to help navigate these turbulent waters. 

Together, we’ll explore how you can provide a supportive environment that encourages your child to embrace educational opportunities without fear.

What is School Refusal?

School refusal, a form of school avoidance, often stems from separation anxiety, social anxiety, or specific school phobias related to the school environment. Unlike truancy or school absenteeism, which is characterized by skipping school without fear, school refusal is rooted in anxiety and fear, significantly impacting a child’s mental health. This keeps them at home even though they generally value education and perform well when they do attend.

Common Causes:

  • Anxiety and Stress: Your child’s anxiety is a leading cause of school refusal. Children may fear aspects of the school environment such as interacting with peers, dealing with teachers, or the academic pressures they face.
  • Bullying and Social Issues: Experiences of bullying or social isolation can make the school environment feel hostile and unsafe, prompting avoidance.
  • Transitions and Life Changes: Moving to a new school, transitioning from middle school to high school, or other significant life changes can trigger school refusal behaviors.
  • Health Issues: Sometimes, underlying physical health problems, like chronic illnesses or even conditions like ADHD and autism, can contribute to difficulties in maintaining regular school attendance.

Understanding these triggers is crucial for addressing school refusal effectively. By recognizing the root causes, parents can tailor their approach to meet their child’s specific needs. This is the first post in our series about school refusal. Stay tuned for more information about symptoms, tips, and treatment options for your child. 

If your child struggled with school refusal this past year and you’re looking for emotional support as well as potential credit recovery (available in TX only), give us a call at 877-747-4CWG or click here to learn more about our summer programming.

We’re here for you.