school refuser(25 Posts)
6 YO DS is refusing to go to school
He was sick last Thursday in School and was sent home
Was off friday (not sick) went back to school on Monday
He was sent home on Tuesday (no ill effects) and went WEdnesday and thursday and has refused to go today
He says his stomach is sore and he needs to do a Poo.
He has done this but still says he is sore and what happens if he poo in his pants.
There are no other symptons but he is well and eating well.
DH and I think it is a fear of pooing in his pants again and that is making him not want to go.
What can I do?
We have been to the doctors and he is a fussy eater so she has suggested a change in diet and given movicol in cases of constipation ( which he isnt at present)
We have tried to tell him he had a tummy bug and it happens but he is scared stiff of it happening again in school and thats why i think he doesnt want to go.
Sounds like he is nervous and has a social conscience (which is admirable... some of us never really develop one).
Two options: 1. Make school sound AWESOME... so that his fear of missing out overcomes his worry (perhaps talk to his teacher about letting him do "nothing but art" the first day back).
2. He is six, you are an adult. Use the line "it will be even more embarrassing if I have to physically carry you into class in your pyjamas... I want you dressed and ready to go before I count to 10!" and then follow through on the threat. (Like I said, some of us never develop the social concious).
Both methods should work... you could always go for a combination!
(whatever you do, don't ask the teacher to "mention quietly to the other kids about him being embarrassed"... if they hadn't thought of teasing him before, they will as soon as it's mentioned!)
Thanks for the reply
He was washed dressed and at school when he said his tummy was sore. I was already at work
His dad said as soon as he came home he was better
We've gone to the doctors this afternoon to make sure nothing wrong - there's not.
So he's said it was all a wee fib.
So he's on restricted privileges - no rugby tonight with dad or iPad.
And back to school Monday morning.
I worry he is being made fun off after illness incident and he doesn't want to go
Hi Chablis! I can understand that being ill at school may have scared him and so he is concerned about it happening again but he must go to school and allowing him to feign illness will only make things worse. So take heart that you are doing the right thing. Children are very used to others being ill so I really doubt they are teasing him about it. You need to be strong so that he doesn't see the ill thing as a convenient way to spend a fun day at home with you. My dcs went through a phase where it was tricky to tell if 'illness' was genuine so if I suspected it I would say okay then you can stay home but I will be busy and if you're sick you will be in bed with no tele or games. Often they would bravely volunteer to give school a go and there were no problems!!!!good luck and be prepared that Monday may bring some fresh challenges!!!!
it sounds like anxiety
why did school send him home on Tues - did they think he was ill?
If he was in my class, he'd definitely be doing art all day. Have a chat with his teacher... they should be able to rig it so that he's doing a prestige activity.
Sorry it was Wednesday the school sent him home
He said he had a sore tummy and running back and forward to the loo
He says he needs to do a poo but no poo comes or he has just done one
I think it's anxiety too
Worry about in case he get sick again in school
poor ds - he does sound very anxious
has he actually pooed in his pants in school - was that when he was sick on the first day?
Was he anxious before the stomach problems started? Just thinking it could be anxiety that has triggered the physical symptoms or it could be the physical illness that's triggered the anxiety, depending on which came first iyswim.
He did poo in toilet but couldn't clean himself up well.
There were no real probs before this.
He says he's going to school as he doesn't want to miss out. He loves to learn new things
It just upset me to see him upset
aw bless him
perhaps a member of staff can reassure him that if it happens again they will help him rather than him struggling by himself.
Maybe he could have a little card or something as a signal to show to the teacher, so that he knows that if it does happen again he won't have to actually tell someone and worry about other children knowing.
Thanks for all the replies
It's now gone deeper today in that he spinning this sore tummy/poo when he doesn't want to do something today.
Started when we had to go to butchers, then to drop me off to meet friends for lunch. Each time my tummy is sore I need to do a poo but no poo comes.
Am at wits end. I really don't know. He said to his dad he doesn't feel himself. We have wobbly tooth which is annoying him but that's all. He's ate and drank well today. He's played about. So I really don't think he is ill.
I've said if he keeps saying this - one time we don't believe him and that's the time his tummy really will be sore
Here's hoping tomorrow is better.
Hope you get him to school ok this morning. I have a 6yo school refuser (anxiety) and I know how stressful it is!
Nope not good today
Had to go to work early so his dad took him
He refused so dh took him anyway and he cried.
Assistant is looking after him. Dh says he is anxious and stressed.
I'm taking him tomorrow and I am so worried
I really am at a loss as to what to do.
Oh dear . Can you arrange to meet with teacher and explain the toilet issue and ask for his/her suggestions for how it could be dealt with? Also, to check there isn't anything else worrying him at school?
Do you think he really doesn't want to go to school but can't tell you straight? If that turns out to be the case, and you are able to act on it, we are a friendly lot in the Home Ed area of Mumsnet
Ommmward - he usually loves school but I think this has made him anxious.
I spoke to the teacher after school and she was great. She'll keep an eye but doesn't think anyone is annoying him.
She said he settled quickly and was good all day.
We went to park after school with his wee friend from his class and they played happily
So hopefully he knows that there's nothing to worry about now and everyone wants to play with him and he can go happily to school.
So he still is upset at going to school
His dad says he repeats I cant do it over and over again
His dad has always taken him to school (breakfast club) so we are sticking with that rather than set a precedence by me taking him.
I am at my wits end.
I am paying for the breakfast club
But more importantly i need to make sure my son is settled and happy to go to school
Should we just carry on taking him to school as normal until he gets over this bump? and then back to breakfast club?
I am heartbroken he is getting so upset about this all
Anyone have any ideas how I can get him to school easily?
He's already started this evening that he can't go to school and he just can't do it.
It is breaking our hearts
It could be that initially the (near?) accident at school was the source of his worry, but now worrying about worrying could be causing the same bodily feelings (I.e. needing a poo, funny tummy etc). A good book for young children about worrying is 'the huge bag of worries' - I don't know if you've come across it? Also try googling some stuff on dealing with worries in children his age.
You could maybe try drawing an outline of a body (or drawing around him to make it fun) and asking him where he feels his worry? Then do some basic explaining about anxiety and that it's normal and not dangerous to feel these feelings. I'd definitely talk to school again for some advice/pointers about this; they should be well experienced with this sort of issue? Or if it comes to it, they should be able to possibly put you in contact with an educational psychologist.
Paul Stallard has done some great online stuff for children about anxiety. Not sure how you get hold of it though.. Could even maybe email him?! He was at the university of bath last I knew.
In the meantime, as hard as it is, you are doing the right thing by continuing to take him to school. If he succeeds in avoiding school, he won't give himself the chance to see his worries are unfounded, iyswim? Would trying something like basic relaxation techniques be helpful do you think? Stuff like, breathe out for longer than in; concentrate on each part of your body then when you breathe out, feel it relax (or go floppy, whatever terminology works for him). Distraction is a brilliant tool - is there anything you think might work for him? An image/photo/small toy?
Hope some of that helps, and I hope things improve.
Great advice. Have you asked why he feels he can't go?
We've asked him and he just says he scared of having to go to the loo
Once he is in school he is fine.
He went yesterday ( the teacher came and took him in) and then had a good day and went to the park afterwards with 5 other boys from his class and played.
I then had to drag him to his after school club (it was the last day)
My mum thinks its might be a separation anxiety thing as well so maybe the wee note in his lunchbox is a good idea.
School have dealt with this before (another wee boy ended up having to get his childminder to take him rather than his mum) but I think next week we may have to get more help if it continues on.
He currently has a substitute teacher (his own teacher is off with severe morning sickness) but the normal teacher is due back next week so maybe he will settle better then
There are so many little things that could have upset him so its hard to pinpoint one of them
Is it physical? Scared of cleaning himself?
Due to bullying? Are toilets clean or dark and scary?
Would it help to be allowed to leave class to go? Take a friend? Have TA wait outside?
he is scared of cleaning himself and not being able too - so we are working on that at home.
He says the toilets scare him (he would be very nervous child anyways) but we are trying to reassure him
The teacher has allowed him to leave class to go if he needs to
I have spoken to the teacher and she is keeping an eye and has asked the dinner ladies to do so as well but they have seen nothing so far.
I have ordered the book recommended by misty9 and will carry on
His dad is getting very stressed with leaving him off but I think if I started to do it it could make matters worse.
We need to keep carrying on as normal and that is his dad takes him to school. Is this wrong?
If toilets scare him can he go with a friend? Have TA wait outside? Use them when other kids not in there?
I would carry on as usual. I would think changing routine may make him think there is something to be scared of.
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