NHM Readers: When a child hates school

In response to a question from a NHM Reader, I asked the Friends of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook “My 7 year old daughter really hates school. Every morning, for nearly an hour, she screams and shouts about how much she hates school and it’s too hard. This has been going on for about 4 months. If she hates it so much, should I be considering changing schools for her? I’m worried she might be the same wherever she goes though. We’ve talked to her about it in depth and tried everything but kind of at our wits end”.

Thank you for all of your very supportive responses, which I have listed below:

NHM Readers advise on when a child hates school

Claire said “Sounds awful for you both. No real advice, but speak to the school, perhaps get the teachers to try and find out what’s wrong if she won’t speak to you? I’m sure you will find a way to make her happy again”

Louise said “Talk to the school, they should take this seriously and offer practical assistance. Ultimately, changing school may help. Forcing attendance may not. You (and they) don’t want this to escalate into full refusal and school phobia. This website may be of help and there is a Facebook support group: http://www.schoolrefusal.co.uk/

Larissa said “Unfortunately not all schools are good at supporting parents and children with this sort of problem … I learned the hard way!”

Louise said “Absolutely, I’ve read some very difficult stories and it’s been a real eye-opener, I think this would be a very good reason to look for a new school. I’m sorry for you and your child’s struggles and am glad to read things are improving”.

Larissa said “My 7 year old daughter was the same for around a year. Last term it got so bad she was school refusing. My advice .. is there a reason for her not liking school? Bullying? Learning issues that the school haven’t picked up on? Talk to the school. We exhausted all avenues and were not getting anywhere so we removed our daughter. She was so unhappy and her self esteem was suffering. She is now going to a new school and her behaviour has got so much better. Sometimes one school’s environment just isn’t right for your child. Listen to your child and do what’s best for them. There is always a reason for this kind of behaviour.”

Marie said “Changing schools for my daughter when she had this problem was the best thing I ever did for her. Something is wrong, you need to show her you are on her side.”

Larissa said “Yes!! Totally agree.. I have moved both my children at different times .. my eldest having special needs it was the best decision I made. Always listen .. often challenging behaviour is a child trying to tell you something is not right”

Fiona said “Go and see the school ask for an appointment, write down what’s going on they may be able to give you support also other agencies may be offered for support”

Mary said “There is something schools can offer called ELSA so speak to the school, get some advice and see if they have noticed anything, ELSA is emotional literacy so it may help her to articulate her problem.”

Larissa said “My daughter’s old school told me there was no space to offer her Elsa!! But I agree Elsa is a great thing if the schools do it properly.”

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