3 strategies to use when your children resist going to school

Ever get tired of hearing “School is boring”

Ever get tired of the morning resistance to go to school?

It takes so much effort to just get them out of the house and into the car for school…

Here are 3 strategies to handle this

On the morning

  1. Get clear in yourself that there is no other option other than them going to school

Make a firm statement as if this is how things work. Children go to school.  When we are certain in ourselves that there is no option to not go, our children learn they have no option. If we are inconsistent and sometimes give in and allow them t stay home, we open the opportunity for negotiation and a sense that there could be an option. This firm statement “children go to school” can be used consistently in the moment. How you feel when you are handling the situation impacts your result. You need to have strength and certainty in you without getting cross with them.  Avoid long explanations in the moment.

  1. Acknowledge how they feel so that they feel heard 

This doesn’t mean they have an option not to go. “I can see you are not enjoying school” “I can hear you don’t want to go” and children go to school. When we maintain certainty and don’t let their behaviour impact our emotional state, we can have strength and be present for them. When we acknowledge/reassure them, it can settle their fears. If we get impatient or angry with them it just heightens their anxiety.

In the afternoon or evening afterwards

  1. Ask them questions to develop their awareness and facilitate them to find a solution

There is always a need behind behaviour. When our children are saying they are bored or there is other resistance to go to school, take time to ask them questions so that they can find a solution. There 2 lessons to teach them here:

  1. There are some things they have control over and some things they don’t – help them identify what they have control over and what they don’t. At school there are things they have to do. Coming to acceptance of that can settle their frustration. Then what do they have control over – what they do (what they are responsible for). 
  2. They are responsible for what they want and for their happiness –  even though they have things they have to do at school, how can they enjoy their day anyway? 
  • What can they do?
  • Who can they speak to or play with?
  • What could they do that is fun?
  • How could they enjoy the subjects?
  • What subjects do they like?
  • What could make things easier?

It is all about teaching them to be aware of what they can’t control and encouraging them to focus on what they can and how they can find joy regardless of the circumstance. It is not the situation that makes them happy, it is the way they approach the situation that counts, and they have full control of that. 

Help them to think of things to try, let them go each day and try them. Have a conversation afterwards and let them assess, did they feel better, was it more fun. Let them tweak what they do until they feel good. 

The timing of this third step is very important. Often we try have this conversation in the morning or when they are upset. This never works. Choosing a time afterwards when they are in a good state of mind and there is no pressure for result is the best time to develop perspective

In closing

Use these tips and others I provide in my blogs.  I am here to support you through your entire parent journey 

What You Should Do Next:

  1. Follow me on Instagram where I share loads of quick tips and ideas to implement with your children AND YOURSELF 
  2. If you have enjoyed this blog please share with a friend who you think would benefit from these tips
  3. Look out for my series of new FREE Webinars and an online course giving strategies for yourself as a parent. Handling your own feelings – guilt, worry, the need to protect, frustration…and more


About the Author

Gail is a Family Relationship Coach specialising in Parent-Child Relationships. She is passionate about empowering and inspiring parents to develop children’s self-awareness. She believes that this can be achieved by balancing parent’s needs with children’s development and happiness. Understanding how to synchronise our thoughts and emotions and what drives them ensures our happiness, and our children reaching their full potential. Gail is a Qualified NLP Practitioner, NLP Life Coach and Emotional Freedom Techniques Practitioner with over 10 years’ experience and success at applying these techniques to children’s learning and behaviour. Her success with her own son is proof of the possibility of true potential

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  1. Ask them questions so that they develop the perception that they are responsible for the solution. Children go to school.  I hear you are not enjoying school – what can you do? Allow a gap/pause so that they can come up with something even if it takes a while. 


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