How to Deal with a Child Who Doesn’t Want to Go to Pre-school

It can be very stressful when you have a child who doesn’t want to go to preschool and you feel like you really need the break.

These are tips for helping understand and overcome the issue as quickly as possible.

1. Identify the root cause.

Try to find the root cause of the issue. For example, if your child is toilet training, they may be worried that they’re going to have an accident at school. Other potential causes include that your child may be coming down with a bug.

2. Ask yourself – Has something changed?

Have you been arguing more at home? Did you recently move? Are you expecting another baby? Changes at home may mean that your child is having the instinct that they want to stick close to you.

3. Chat with their teacher.

Ask your child’s teacher open-ended questions like
– “How does my child spend their time when they’re at preschool?
– “How does my child cope when they need help from an adult at school?”

Don’t ask closed ended questions like “Have you noticed anything different?”

4. Is your child getting enough rest?

Is your child reluctant to go to school because they’re tired?

5. If your child is normally happy to go to preschool, listen when they’re telling you that they need a day off.

Even if you don’t know the exact cause of why your child doesn’t want to go to preschool, it’s probably better to give them that message that you will respond to them when they’re freaking out, rather than insist that they go. If it’s becoming an ongoing issue, you’re likely going to to need to try other strategies.

6. Invite kids from preschool to your house.

Arrange some playdates with kids from preschool. This will help you assess if there are any social issues that are causing your child to not want to go to school.

7. Reward going to school with attention.

Give your child one on one attention when you pick them up from preschool. For example, take them to lunch one on one, whether this be sandwiches in the park or out to a cafe. Make sure your child is getting enough one on one time with you. If you have other children, try to arrange for someone else to take care of them so you can spend some special time with the child who is having a hard time. Make sure you reward the wanted behavior of going to preschool.

photo credit: Biscarotte via photopin CC

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