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Why your child might be allergic to school - and what to do about it

"Mummy, I don't want to go to school anymore!"

My oldest son went to school for a week very happily. He had the weekend, playing happily. But when Monday morning came, he said ‘I did school already, I don’t need more school!’

He certainly did not like having to go to school every day, and needed a lot of persuading.

We all face this sometimes: your child does not want to go to school: tummy aches, head-aches, bad cough – anything to let him stay home.

And all mothers realize there may be something more to it.

If this unwillingness goes on for a long time, you begin to worry.

Problems at home and at school

If you feel like you are fraught and sleep-deprived, running from one errand to the next and only just managing to keep your child in check, I empathise!

Why is your child so chaotic? He/she just does not seem to understand, let alone do, what you tell him. When a child is an ‘all over the place’ sort of child, with poor concentration and does not sleep well, your sleep is also affected.

You find it hard to just sort out the daily essential routines, let alone actually sit down and enjoy some ‘quality’ time with your child.

On top of that your child’s father may not really understand.

His own feeling of frustration makes him almost accuse you of causing his son to be like this!

He may say – ‘He/she is your son/daughter: don’t you know what to do?’ – which is of course something you are probably already saying to yourself, even subconsciously!

You are wise to ask the question ‘Why?’ in all these cases. And wonder what to do...

Is your child allergic to school? Here are some reasons they might be:

There are many things that may be causing the problems, such as

  • bullying, or difficulty in his friendship groups.

  • certain lessons are difficult for him: for example, some dyslexic children find ways to avoid showing how hard they find it to read and write.

  • communicating – perhaps his/her pronunciation is not clear and he/she is being misunderstood, though at home you are used to him/her and understand your child fine.

  • difficulty understanding in class – he/she might be finding it hard to follow the information and instructions of his teacher. Is he still learning English? Or maybe he has a speech and language disorder?

  • She/he does not talk at school, and may have Selective Mutism. You may just have thought she was quiet and shy, but it may be more than that….

  • There may be a hearing problem or a difficulty with processing what he hears.

Talk to your child’s school staff

Most Schools have SEN or Counseling staff whose main role is to provide support for parents. They are not just there for children with Learning Difficulties. They are on your side! They want your child to succeed and so do you.

When you meet with School SEN staff, here are some tips:

1. Be honest with them about the way your child behaves at home. It will help them to know how to advise you. You do not need to share details of personal problems, but if these are affecting your child, indicating this will help school staff to determine how to help your child.

2. If there are problems in both school and home, you need to agree an action plan with School, and reassure the child that you are all helping him / her to find ways to overcome the difficulty.

3. The Special Needs may suggest that you get your child assessed by a Psychologist or other appropriate Professional. The SEN staff will advise you about this.

SEN staff have experience of these disorders and can help you: work together with them on an action plan to help your child – and yourself!

Small steps to big progress

You may just need to stand back from your situation and see where you can make one small difference at a time, like changing bed-time or eating habits, to start getting an improvement.

Let me know if these ideas help – or if you have others that help you with your child. Is your child allergic to school?

Image credits - Wix Images

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