It can be extremely difficult for a parent to drop off a child who is upset about coming to school. It may be heartbreaking to leave your child in tears and feeling helpless leaving them in the hands of the teacher. School refusal and separation anxiety are common experiences at the beginning of the school year. To help with this transition School Social Workers and other professionals recommend trying the following ideas:
- Listen and validate your child’s fears and concerns.
- Empower your child. Instill an “I can do this” mindset
- Bring your child to school regularly and on time.
- Try to make goodbyes short. Prolonging a goodbye may sometimes make calming the child down more difficult.
- Say goodbye to your child at the front doors. If you need assistance, you may ask an older sibling or office staff to accompany your child to class. Saying goodbye at the door sends a message to your child that you are confident in their ability to go to school.
If your student continues to struggle with attending school, you may consider meeting with a professional for further evaluation to explore other possible causes for the behavior. For more information, see attachments.Aleksi Poirer, CSW District Social Worker, PCSD