Headaches and stomachaches head the list of children’s complaints. But the real problem is more likely “cold feet.” He isn’t ready to handle what he must face when he goes out your door. Experts suggest:
• Immediately make it clear that you are happy to deal with the specific problems she may be having at school—but that you still expect him to attend school today.
• Explore the cause of the symptoms. Ask your child why he is reluctant to go (but continue to get him ready as you do so).
• Acknowledge your child’s distress. While he might not be sick, his physical discomfort may be real. Say something like, “I know you’re upset, but we all have to do things that make us feel terrible at first. You’ll feel better once you get started.”
If you do let your child stay home in the morning, don’t make home more pleasant than school. Your child should go to school later that day if his symptoms diminish.
Then when the school day is over, talk about your child’s fears or the problems he is having with schoolwork, the teacher or friends. Brainstorm how your child might better deal with the situation.
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