School refusal, also referred to as school phobia, is a child’s refusal to go to school or stay there. School refusal can be as simple as a child’s reluctance to attend school or it can be a symptom of something more serious like a mental disorder. “However, not attending school can hamper a child’s educational, social, and personal growth. The more delay there is in treatment the more difficult treatment can become,” opines Dr. Manoj Kumar, the chief of psychiatry at Serene Mind Clinic.
Causes Of School Refusal
- Low self-esteem
- Pressure to achieve academic success
- Undetected physical illness or fatigue
- Learning challenges
- Bullying or abuse at school
- Fear of exams
- Fear of social alienation, especially during changing schools
- Stress in family life.
- Fear of participating in social activities
- Fear of separation from parents/ fear of abandonment
Your child can also develop school refusal as a symptom of depression, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, etc. This is why it is crucial that you talk to an expert and get your child the help that they need.
Can You Treat School Refusal At Home?
If your child refuses to go to school, talk to him to see what is bothering him. If there’s a problem that needs your intervention, talk to the principal to resolve the issue. However, if you cannot seem to understand the root cause, you can try positive reinforcement, counseling, reassurance, and explaining why school is important. Try to make school fun for them. If your child still resists going to school or frequently comes up with excuses to miss school, it’s time to talk to a therapist.
How Is School Refusal Treated At Serene Mind Clinic?
A combination of behavior therapy, desensitization, and exposure therapy is used to make school tolerable for your child. However, if your child has an underlying mental disorder, some medication may also become necessary.