Monday, March 1, 2010

School refusal

Does anyone out there have any approaches that worked on dealing with a child who refuses to go to school? This morning, Akila decided that she was not going to school. I tried to be calm, explained why she needed to, what would happen if she didn't, etc. Didn't work.

Ended up threatening, taking away items if she did not get her coat and shoes on to go to the bus stop. No new summer clothes (which she is already obsessed with), can't go out with Angie tonight, etc. Eventually, she went but it was not pretty.

I know that someday, and maybe in the near future, I will not be able to coax her into going. What do you do then??? One of the many questions I am struggling with.


FAScinated said...

I've been there. A few years ago Ben was in refusal mode every single morning because he was having a very hard time at school. These kids tend to live in the moment. The concept of their future means little to them and our lectures about why they need to go to school are usually just words. Threats about future consequences are often, for the same reason, ineffective. School is frustrating for them and the immediate (think: immature) thought is that they just won't go.

Is there any way you can pull in some supports for her during the time she is getting ready for school? Would a schedule where she can mark off what she has accomplished and then some kind of reward at the end work for her? The reward doesn't have to be stuff or privileges, but whatever works for her. Ben actually went through a phase where his reward was a knock knock joke on the way out the door! (Mike and I spent a lot of time that year searching the internet for new knock knock jokes!)

I think the refusals are often tied to anxiety and extra support during that time lessens that anxiety. You know her best though so adapt as necessary. Just consider trying some kind of extra support to get her through that transition to school time in the morning and see if anything helps. Otherwise back to the drawing board. I've had to do that a lot, too! ~Kari

the j. crew said...

back in the day, Antonio when through a phase where he refused to get dressed or go out to the bus. i drove him in and carried him to the school office in his pajamas with his uniform in a bag. (it was nothing compared to what you are going through, but it was hard.)

praying for you.

dorothy said...

Hey - No good answers since I homeschool - But I have a very strong (and compassionate) female friend at the parole/probation office off of Central. She would do anything you need to help in this journey - and loves kids like Akila.

And yes - she does make house calls.....