Son Hates School

Dear Sara,

My ten year old son doesn’t want to go to school. He often complains of stomach aches in the morning. I insist that he go to school but sometimes he throws up before he leaves. Luckily I am a stay at home Mom and I can take him and pick him up in the afternoon. He seems better by then. I have asked him what is the matter but he always says “nothing.” What can I do to help him?

Dear Joy,

The first thing you could do is visit with his teacher and try to find out if he is having problems in school. Is somebody bullying him? Is he having a tough time keeping up with his studies? If he is being bullied the school should take measures to protect him and you need to be really assertive with them to make sure that they do. If he is falling behind in his school work maybe you could find someone to tutor him for a period of time until he catches up.

He could have a physical problem. Have him checked out by your family doctor. He could have an upset stomach because he is anxious and some medication might help. If he is physically OK and there isn’t anything unusual at school maybe your next step would be to find a good child psychologist who could evaluate your son and give you some professional advice. If you can’t afford it there is probably a local mental health clinic in your area.

It’s sad to see your son be so miserable in something that should be a normal part of growing up.

Good luck.

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