“But I don't want to go to school!” You might be surprised to hear that phrase come out of your child’s mouth. Usually little ones look forward to primary school and meeting their friends, but sometimes the journey to get there seems to be an enormous hurdle, accompanied by tears, screams and plenty of tantrums. This of course breaks your heart, because you don't want to leave your baby there alone crying. Primary school is not only a point of contact with friends, but also a space in which they can learn and gain many experiences. However, you should take the time to find out why your child doesn’t want to go anymore.
Reasons why your child doesn't want to go to school
There can be a number of reasons why your sweetheart may be reluctant to go to school. One of these reasons may be that your child has separation anxiety because they are afraid of losing you. Since you’ve been their caregiver for the last 4-5 years, they grow a very special bond with you. As your child gets older, they understand that parents will come back to get them and they don't have to be afraid. This feeling is very complex and is biologically conditioned, so it can have nothing to do with school itself.
If your family has recently had an addition, another reason may be that your child is jealous of their little sibling. After all, the newborn could be at home with mum and or dad while your older child is taken to school and feels excluded from family life.
In addition, your darling may have problems getting used to the new environment because it is too loud or too hectic for them. They may also have a hard time making new friends, or they may be teased or heaven forbid bullied by other children. To rule out this as a reason, you should speak to the teacher. They look after your child throughout the day and experience first hand how they behave in a group, and whether there are any problems. They are also your child's on-site contact person and often recognise if a situation needs to be addressed.
You can help your child
It is important that you talk to your toddler about why they don’t want to go to school. They may not be able to answer this question specifically because they might not be aware of the cause. A conversation before going to bed about the nice and not so nice moments in school can shed some light on the darkness. Here for example, you can use a cuddly toy or a hand puppet to help speak with your child, depending on what they like best. Listen to them carefully and pay attention to when they look happy or sad. When you have found the cause, you can find your way together to solve the problem.
Another example which may be of help is goodbye routines, these can help your child gain security in school. You can for example, paint a small heart on the back of your hand and kiss it every time you leave and place it on your child’s hand. If your darling should ever be sad, they can look at their hand and know that you are with them. In addition, it can help your child if you give them a cuddly toy and talk to them about who will pick them up and when it will be.
If you talk to your little one and take their feelings seriously, you will quickly find out what is behind their emotional reactions and you can find a solution together so that they will enjoy going to primary school again.