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Contemporary Parenting Questions


Last updated on 08/22/08

Why does my child refuse to go to school?

Every day, as many as 1 in 4 children refuse to go to school. While the reasons can range from a looming test to an ill-placed pimple, “school refusal,” formerly known as school phobia, is an actual anxiety-based disorder. Surprisingly, school refusal is more prevalent than some better-known child disorders like ADHD. Since many children are vague in their complains and are unable to verbalize the cause of their anxiety, their refusal to attend school is sometimes attributed to typical childhood behavior. However, the effects of recurring school refusal can be far-reaching for your child's education and action must be taken immediately.

In the Jewish Community:

Many Jewish parents with children suffering from “school refusal” feel an extreme sense of loneliness in their struggle. It appears to them that their child is the only one out of hundreds of Yeshiva and Bais Yaakov students that refuses to go to school. That, however, is a common misconception. In an effort to guard their students’ privacy and adhere to the laws of Shmiras Halashon, teachers are forbidden to discuss details about their students to outside individuals. Would this information be shared, the struggling parents of children with “school refusal” would realize that it is not uncommon for up to twenty-five percent of a classroom to be struggling with this same issue in different degrees. Use the following links to learn more about School Refusal and how to end your child’s daily struggle.

Frequently Asked Links:

Why does my child refuse to go to school?

Why is my child anxious about going to school?

Why do some kids dislike school?

Why is my child skipping school?

Why is my child’s refusal to attend school a problem?

Why does my child refuse to attend school? How can this be addressed?

What should I do when my child refuses to go to school?

How can I help my child overcome this problem?

Resources for the Jewish Community

Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Mental health resources

Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

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