By Dvora Litt, MSW Family Therapist
When your child refuses to go to school (1)
Does your child refuse to return to school after a break in routine such as Shabbat, an illness or a blizzard? Does your child complain of headaches and stomach aches or other physical symptoms that seem to disappear by staying home? Are your attempts at persuading your child to return to school met with crying, angry outbursts or avoidant behaviors such as excessive sleeping? If the above sounds familiar and other issues such as bullying or undiagnosed learning disabilities have been considered, your child may be experiencing an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety may prevent children from completing homework assignments and tests because they worry excessively about being judged by their teachers and peers. It may also interfere with their ability to speak in public, make and maintain friendships, travel to and from school or participate in after school activities. Fear that others are watching can be paralyzing and make it difficult for children to express themselves. Parents who recognize their child’s pain may make allowances but ultimately their good intentions may backfire because they reinforce the anxiety. Consistent absenteeism leads to falling behind academically and socially, creating an anxiety loop.
When anxiety seems to be playing a significant role and is interfering with school attendance it is time to address the problem. If left untreated anxiety disorders can have serious consequences including depression and alcohol/drug use. When school refusal causes distress and disrupts family life, it is time to seek professional help and appropriate intervention.
Call Kav L’Noar for assistance in understanding and managing this difficult issue.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_facebook][/vc_column][/vc_row]