If your child doesn’t want to go to school…

The school is the first social institution in the child’s life. Here, the child learns to love, to respect others, to share, to obey the rules and to take part in society as an individual. Basic habits win here. Here he lays the first foundations of his social relations. In addition, school plays a big role in shaping the personality of the child.

A child’s first teacher is his parents. Therefore, the child receives the first information and first education about individual and social life from family members. However, this education is not enough for him to continue his life, he has to socialize as a necessity of social life. For this reason, school can also be defined as an environment where the child opens out from the safe and warm atmosphere of the family for the first time and socialization takes place.

The child’s acquaintance with the outside world should occur as early as possible. The child, who knows the outside world at an early age, will form solid foundations in terms of adapting to the social environment, establishing healthy relationships and maintaining relationships in his future life.

3-6 years is scientifically the educational age of the child. Especially the first three years of life is a period when the child needs the mother the most, both physically and psychologically. In this period, it is undoubtedly the healthiest way for the mother to be busy with the care and education of the child as much as possible and not to get help from any pre-school education institution. However, the increasing number of working mothers makes pre-school education institutions necessary before the desired time.

By 18 months, there is a marked increase in the child’s capacity to understand. Parallel to this, progress is made in terms of preparation for speaking. The child, who wants to get to know the outside world better, becomes more interested in other people, especially his peers, and starts to establish more relationships with his environment. Thus, he takes the first steps in the name of socialization. Therefore, in this age period, short-term playgroups in which parents can participate can be preferred. As of the age of 2.5-3, they can be sent to pre-school education institutions on certain days of the week (usually 3 days) or 5 half days.

Especially parents who will send their children to a kindergarten or kindergarten for the first time are very worried about this age period. They may think that the child is still too young and not ready enough. In fact, the child enters the age of play with this age period, and the school is the place that can best provide him with this play environment. In addition, the child, whose interpersonal relations begin to develop in a meaningful way, acquires new environments in which he can socialize thanks to school.

The child’s age, development level, emotional maturity affect the way he perceives the school, as well as the process of getting used to the school. The adaptation processes of a child who has his first school experience in the pre-school period and a child who starts primary school will be different from each other.

For a child just starting kindergarten, school is a symbol of the first separation and uncertainty from parents. The child who has spent time with his parents or the person who takes care of him, who takes every step together, now has to achieve something without them. Moreover, the child is in a safe environment where he knows how to treat himself and how to react to which behavior. Along with starting school, he will enter an environment where he does not know what to expect. This uncertainty creates anxiety in the child. This state of anxiety, which we will call school fear, is not a situation encountered in every child, and it is a situation that can make it difficult for the child to adapt to the social environment if it occurs.

The source of school fear is the fear of separation from the mother and abandonment. The child is worried that in the absence of the mother, he or his mother will be harmed and abandoned. When the child is alone in a place he does not know, with an authority (teacher) he does not know, he is afraid and wants to be with his family, that is, in the safest environment for him.

Therefore, it is natural to see behaviors such as crying, not wanting to go to school, not wanting to leave their mother in the first days of school. These behaviors are often accompanied by physical reactions. In the morning, just before going to school, physical complaints such as nausea, headache, stomachache, loss of appetite and discomfort occur. In the face of compulsions, the child panics, worries, cries and refuses to go. Lists meaningless excuses not to go to school. When told that he will not go to school, these symptoms disappear.

Sometimes the start is insidious. Anxiety symptoms can start days in advance. School phobia can be suspected if the child has recently been irritable and irritable, acting shy, experiencing loss of enthusiasm and energy, having loss of appetite and sleeplessness, crying for no reason and becoming irritable, and frequently complaining of headache and stomachache even though he is not sick.

The real tension begins when the child enters the school; After all, it’s time to leave your mother. As they approach the door of the classroom, the anxiety in the child increases and tantrums can be seen. The thought of his mother leaving him makes the child more anxious. In this sense, the child’s school sees his mother as a separating factor from himself and has negative feelings towards the school. These feelings can only be prevented as long as explanations that satisfy and guide the child in the school preparation process are made. Therefore, parents have great responsibilities. Before starting school, parents should give the child the necessary information about the school and explain what awaits them there. For example; they should inform about how a day will be spent at school, the activities they will do in the garden or in the classroom, school rules, teachers and friends. It should be explained that the school is an environment where you can make new friends, have a pleasant time, learn new things, and feel happy and safe, and the positive features that it will bring to oneself should be emphasized. Giving false and inconsistent information must be avoided. However, parents should talk to their children about school phobia. Talking about a child’s worries, anxieties, and feelings helps them both share their distress and feel understood and relaxed. It should be said that this is a natural situation, not only he but also other children can experience the same feelings and will feel better over time. Children should not be blamed, ridiculed, or belittled for fear of children. “Why are you crying? What’s there to be afraid of, are you a baby?”It is absolutely necessary to avoid approaches that offend the child, such as

School is a difficult start for the child as well as for the parents who are leaving their child for the first time. First of all, parents need to get through this difficult start in a healthy way. Considering that even a baby in the mother’s womb perceives his mother’s feelings very easily, it is expected that the child who will start school will feel his mother’s concerns. Therefore, first of all, parents need to get their worries under control. Otherwise, the child who senses this will feel guilty thinking that if he stays at school, he will leave his parents alone. For example; “I will miss you so much when you are at school”, “You can call me when you are not feeling well”, “I will come and pick you up whenever you want” Approaches like this drag the child into a more intense mess. In this case, the child tries to understand why his parents need him but still insist on sending him to school. For this reason, the most important thing for parents to do is to calm the child with logical explanations and act decisively. It is important to keep the farewell scenes short. The longer this period lasts, the more difficult it will be for the child to separate from the mother. Limiting the time is the first step to take. “I’m only here for 10 more minutes and then I have to go. After I leave, you will have a very enjoyable time here with your teachers and friends. You can tell your teachers when you need something, they will help you. I’ll come and get you when school’s over.”A brief explanation will suffice.

Not only the person who dropped him off at school, but also all family members should be determined about the child’s going to school. As long as they act together, the child believes in the necessity of going to school. In particular, if an approach that supports and encourages the child is displayed, the child begins to see the useful and entertaining aspects of the school over time.

It is very important for the family to cooperate with the school at these stages. Both parties should be aware of the child’s behavior at home and at school. It should also be accepted that this is a process. Because the habituation period may not be the same for every child. Some children adapt in a short time, while others adapt over a longer period of time. So much so that at the beginning of the year, we see that the children who have difficulty in adapting for a long time, after a few months, the school becomes the place where they like to spend their time the most.

In the adaptation of the child to school, the role of the teacher is as great as the participation of the family in the process. Especially the first encounter with the teacher is very important for the child. The teacher’s approach to the child should be very affectionate. Trust and love should be the foundation in their relationships. Because the child is in intense need of trust in the first days. He needs an object with which he can share his feelings of loneliness and anxieties. A healthy start can be made if this object becomes a teacher. Otherwise, a toy that he never leaves with him, fingers or nails may be tools he will use to relieve his anxiety.

The child’s adaptation to school should take place in stages. Putting the child into a class that he does not know at all will mean confronting him directly with his fear, which will further increase the anxiety that he will be abandoned and make it difficult to adapt. For this reason, first of all, it is necessary to make people like the school by walking around and to ensure their participation in the process voluntarily. Being forced or feeling that he is forcibly sent to school will strengthen the child’s negative feelings towards school.

It is seen that children with a kindergarten background have less difficulty in transitioning to primary school than children who will start school for the first time. Because the child who knows the school system, rules and operation continues his education with more confident steps. However, there are some points that need to be considered in order to make this transition healthy. For example; Unless the child is adequately informed about primary school, he or she may be disappointed. Because there is a game-oriented education in kindergarten and the child who comes to primary school wants to maintain the same comfort. Therefore, the child should be informed beforehand about the situations and differences he will encounter when he starts primary school.

The shortening of play times and the increase in desk activities are the factors that push the child in the first place. Behaviors such as indifference and reluctance towards activities, difficulties, not wanting to go to school and using various excuses for not going to school are common situations. In such cases, parents still need to be calm and act decisively. Explain to the child the purpose of school and why he or she should go. If he goes to school, even though he doesn’t want to, he should definitely be rewarded. However, this reward should be more in the form of verbal praise.

If the child is still not used to a good school preparation process, despite the right approach of the family and the school in the adaptation process, if the child still has difficulty in adapting, referral to a specialist will facilitate the solution of the problem.

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