But I don’t want to go to school today

By Rob Mullen


Ever been on the receiving end of this one?  UGGH.  Chances are you have and after hearing it you probably felt horrible, unsettled and even frustrated.  Many reasons can account for these feelings.  The following ideas may help you sort through such a challenging event.

Love- sometimes a statement of this shape and magnitude is a reflection of a child’s yearning to spend more time at home with the people they love, in the place they feel most comfortable.  That’s reasonable.  We all cherish our family time and adore the safety of our home lives.

In such a circumstance:  remind your child how much you enjoy spending time with them too.  Also remind them why adults need to work and why you want them to be at school.  Be sure to let them know whey they can expect special times together with you be it at the end of the day, week, or even a special holiday.

Temperament-For some children, the transition to school can be a real hurdle.  The buzzing and boisterous energy of a preschool classroom can be simply overwhelming.  Some children are used to more peaceful quiet settings.  The whole transition can be frightening.

In such a circumstance:  take time entering the program.  Your child may temporarily need you with them until they feel comfortable at school.  It may even be wise to adjust to a shorter schedule so that your child can build up the confidence they need to succeed in their new environment.  Loving patience will be needed for the reluctant child.

Challenge- Although school is fun, it’s also a place of work!  Our children are constantly learning concepts and ideas but they are also making connections with each other, learning what it means to be a part of a group and working within the limits and rules of the classroom.  This can be a tough responsibility and one which creates stress for a child.

In such circumstances:  Listen to your child!  Encourage them to articulate why they don’t want to go to school today.  Give them time to speak to their worries, anxieties or fears.  Reassure that their ideas are important and that we can work together to create solutions.

The next step is checking with your child’s teacher.  Together we can share perspective and craft strategies.  You and your child’s needs are important to us!  If we can’t come to a solution right then and there, we are always able to find an appropriate time to meet about the issues.  Together we will work through it!

Safety- sometimes a child doesn’t fell physically or emotionally safe at school.  This is just enough to break your heart!…(and ours too).  We take safety concerns seriously.  After hearing your child’s perspective please, once again, bring your concerns to the teacher and we will work together to address the issues and find solutions.  That’s what we are here for!

Obviously we all want our children to be excited about all the things they do…but especially school.   We want children to have a positive experience in preschool which fuels the intrinsic motivation needed to endure all the challenges and opportunities throughout their schooling.  Let’s build upon these foundations together!