My child doesn’t want to go to school


Tips on how to motivate your child on going to school.

Does your child not want to go to school?


I was totally taken by surprise when my youngest child stated that he didn’t want to go to school (he is about to start kindergarten). He has 2 older sisters who have been in school for the last few years. I was sure that he would be excited. What do I do or say?



This is unusual! However, I do wonder if he senses that maybe you are a little sad that he is off to school?  Perhaps when your child is feeling good: at the dinner table or in the car; talk to him about what exciting things he will learn at school and how fun it will be to meet new friends. You might want to ask his teacher to give him a call or send a postcard. Plus, mention how excited you are for him especially when he comes home to tell you all about his day.

I also would like to suggest Bach flowers. Placing 5 to 10 drops in his water at breakfast, and in his water bottle may help a great deal. The Bach flower, Rescue Remedy, was a mix of good flower essences, and Walnut is useful at all the transition points in life, like going to school! You can get them here.

Since I am not a full expert on this topic, I decided to ask a few of my colleague friends what their thoughts were.

Sharon Silver from Proactive Parenting Suggests

When a child doesn’t want to go to school, they’re telling you that they’re afraid of something.

Since they’re so young they can’t really articulate what the fear they feel is really about.

So, try this.

Tell your child that they have choices. They CAN’T say they don’t want to go to school, that’s NOT one of the choices. But they can tell you how they want to go to school. Which clothes, what breakfast, which shoes, special supplies etc.

Ask them to tell you what they don’t want to happen. They may say, “I don’t want to be without you!” You then say, “What would you like to do to fix that? Maybe take something with you that reminds you of me, a hankie with my perfume, my hat, or my special pen?”

Make sure to end the conversation with, “What do you hope will happen at school? That way when you come home, I’ll be waiting with a snack, and we can talk about how many of your wishes came true at school today. I’m excited!”

This allows a child to express their fears, see that they have to go to school, no choices about that, and see that there are somethings that he can be excited about too.

Lori Lite with Stress-Free Kids Suggests

My kid was a clinger and did not want to go to school. She held my leg tightly and screamed so loudly I wanted to cry. So, I did what every stressed out and embarrassed mom would do…

I told the teachers that she had a fever, and we should reschedule. I lied to my daughter’s kindergarten teacher on the first day of school. Seventeen years later I am happy to report that my little girl is now a college graduate with a terrific job, and she is moving into her own apartment. I have learned a few tricks since that day. Below are a few of Stress-Free Kids tips for creating a back-to-school moment that is stress free.

* Accept the fact that all ages will be cranky for the first 2 weeks. Keep demands and schedules as light as possible until you and your child adjust to the new schedule.

* Never let your children hear you speak negatively about their teacher. Be positive and remember that a teacher that did not work out for your neighbor’s kid, may be your child’s favorite teacher.

Hope that helps!


dr. heather

Thank-you Nina for the image

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