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How to Deal with Your Teen Refusing to Go to School

a teen struggles in school and fights with his parents about not going in the morning

Refusing to go to school is a common way teens act out. It’s frustrating as a parent since you want your child to stay on track and receive the best opportunities possible. There may be a reason for your teen’s school refusal protest, though. They might be dealing with a bully, rapidly changing hormones, or their mental health.

You can find help for your child in a teen mental health rehab program. Family First helps teen boys aged 13-18 at our safe campus in South Florida. Plus, our academic program ensures that they not only stay on track but get ahead. Call 888.904.5947 now to get started.

School Refusal from a Teenager Is Frustrating

School refusal is a term used to describe the behavior of children who refuse to go to school or have difficulty staying in school for the full day. This behavior is different from truancy, where a child stays away from school without any reason.

School refusal can occur for various reasons, including anxiety, depression, bullying, adolescent changes, or academic difficulties. Whatever the reason, it’s crucial to identify the underlying issue and address it appropriately.

How to Deal With School Refusal

As a parent, it can be challenging to see your child struggling with school refusal. You may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to help them. The first step is to communicate with your child so they know you’re invested in providing support.

School Refusal Interventions: Communication

One of the first steps in dealing with school refusal is effective communication. Active listening, empathy, and understanding are key elements in this process.

Open, honest conversations can help you find out why they don’t want to go to school. You can ask things like:

  • “What are you feeling when it’s time to go to school?”
  • “Is there something specific at school that’s bothering you?”
  • “How can I help make going to school easier for you?”

Make sure not to minimize their feelings or dismiss them. It’s essential to validate their emotions and work together on finding a solution.

Check for Signs of Mental Health Issues

Another critical step is to check for signs of mental health issues. Monitor your child’s behavior and look for any changes in their mood, sleep patterns, or eating habits.

Some common signs of underlying mental health issues may include:

  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches
  • Difficulty concentrating or completing tasks
  • Changes in appetite or weight loss/gain
  • Irritability or anger outbursts
  • Withdrawal from friends and family

If you notice any of these signs, it’s vital to seek professional help. A teen mental health rehab program can provide the necessary support and treatment for your child’s well-being.

Create a Supportive Environment

Creating a supportive and positive home environment can significantly help your teen overcome school refusal. Establishing routines, setting realistic expectations, and fostering open communication are key strategies in this regard.

Ensure that your teen has a quiet and comfortable space to complete their homework. Encourage them to participate in school activities that they enjoy. Most importantly, be patient and supportive, understanding that overcoming school refusal is a process that takes time.

Additional School Refusal Tips for Parents

Your connection with your teen is crucial in dealing with school refusal. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Seek professional help if you suspect underlying mental health issues.
  • Work with your child’s school to create a plan for attendance and academic success.
  • Celebrate small victories and progress made toward overcoming school refusal.
  • Show love, support, and patience throughout the process.

Remember, as a parent, you know your child best. Trust your instincts and take steps to help them get the support they need. With the right support, your teen can overcome school refusal and thrive academically and emotionally.

Call Family First When Your Teen Needs Help

We’re dedicated to providing compassionate and effective behavioral treatment for teenagers. Our team of experts is committed to helping your child overcome school refusal and any other behavioral and mental health issues they may be facing. Contact us online today or at 888.904.5947 and let us help your family.