Skip to main content

My child is refusing to go to school. What are some suggestions?

Getting to school or managing a whole day at school can be really hard for some children and youth. 

They can have difficulty attending school for a variety of reasons, from test anxiety and challenges keeping up with schoolwork, to worries about entering a new school, to difficulties with friends or teachers. Mental health challenges can also be a barrier to attending school.

Many children resist going to school once in a while, but if they struggle on a more regular basis and the difficulty doesn’t quickly pass, this will require a strategy to address it.

It is important to give attention to the problem early on, so you can work with your child and the school to find the right support. The sooner they get back to school the better. The longer a child misses school, the more difficult it can be to get back to their school routine and overcome challenges.

It can be challenging to know how best to move forward. For suggestions on what you can do to support your child and promote your own coping when things are hard, see the resources listed below.

You can also reach out to us at the Kelty Centre for suggestions on supporting your child and communicating with your school.

Featured Resources:

Kelty webinar series: School Anxiety & Attendance Challenges for Parents and Caregivers

FamilySmart 'In the Know' webinar: Parenting When Our Kids Can't Go to School

Anxiety Canada article on school refusal

Was this information helpful?

Is this helpful?
Where You Are Podcast

Through real stories, expertise, and practical tips, this podcast helps families promote their mental health and wellness, navigating important topics to meet you where you are in your journey.