9 of the Worst Excuses Kids Give for Not Wanting to Go to School

noschoolMost kids don’t look forward to school. Even overachieving, straight-A students get burned out by the daily grind after a while, and it’s understandable. Most adults probably don’t look forward to going to work every day, but adults also have vacation days, sick days and the ability to get a new job altogether. Kids are stuck going to school no matter what else they’d rather do. As a result, they try to come up with any excuse imaginable to get out of going. There’s usually an underlying reason, though, and with the proper communication methods, you can get to the heart of the issue. No matter how old your kids are, you’re bound to hear at least one of these sooner or later:

“I hate school!”

This is a common statement for kids to make. When it happens, look for the underlying issue. Are they feeling all right? Are they getting enough sleep? Lack of sleep or health issues can cause crabbiness, difficulty focusing and may affect their ability and desire to learn. If that’s not the problem, talk to the child and find out what’s going on. Maybe your young one is dealing with a bully or a tough class. It’s amazing how much can be learned by paying attention and listening to what kids have to say.

“I hate my teacher!”

This is one of the easiest ways for a child to focus their displeasure at having to go to school. By blaming his happiness on the teacher, your child can act as if he’s got a real problem with an educator, when in fact the teacher might not be the issue at all. Get to know your child’s instructors every year, and maintain communication with them to make sure that they’re getting along with your child and that your child is behaving, learning and growing.

“School is boring.”

Sometimes this is just true: kids get bored at school, and they want to use that as an excuse not to go. It’s weak, as excuses go, but it’s also popular. However, boredom at school could be a sign that your child has advanced educational needs, or at least that he’s ready for something beyond his current lesson level. Talk with the teacher about your child’s grades and performance to find out the root of the boredom.

“I have a headache.”

Unlike other health issues — a sore throat, sprained ankle, runny nose, fever, etc. — a headache can’t be proven or disproven by an external observer. Kids figure this out remarkably fast. It might be best to err on the side of caution if your child trots out this excuse once or twice, but if it becomes a regular thing, you’ll be at a crossroads. There could be an underlying health issue, in which case you’d need to take your child to the doctor, or it could just be an excuse for dodging school. Your best course of action is to tackle both solutions: have your child checked for health issues, and communicate with him about what’s happening at school to make sure he’s not trying to avoid it for some other reason.

“I forgot to do my homework.”

At a very young age, children are told how important their academic success is to their parents, and they get homework as part of their routine. However, some children might use that homework as leverage against attending school, hoping that by ignoring the assignment they can force their parents into allowing them to stay home, skip class or, at the very least, finish the homework later. It’s a power play, and children need to learn to be accountable. Letting them “face the music” with the teacher for incomplete homework may actually help the child.

“I missed the bus.”

Surprisingly, some children actually do miss the bus to get out of going to school. To remedy this, you can physically walk your child to the bus stop and wait for her to get on, or you could levy certain punishments/groundings if she uses this excuse. As always, talk to her to see if there’s an underlying reason she’d want to ditch school (aside from the normal).

“I don’t want to leave you!”

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry reports that separation anxiety can be a major reason for some children to want to get out of going to school. This anxiety manifests itself in a number of other ways, including a child’s inability to spend time in a room alone, serious issues with sleep and severe tantrums when it’s time to go to school. It’s important to determine what’s causing your child’s fear and anxiety about leaving home. Speaking with a therapist or professional from the school may also help the situation.

“I don’t have any friends.”

Frustrated parents may tell their children they’re in school to learn, not make friends. However, school is a major, vital part of socialization and maturation, and some kids just have trouble making friends and can find school more of a chore because of it. If your child complains about not having any friends, talk to her about what’s going on. Additional remedies include working with your child on things like social skills, teamwork, communication and other interpersonal areas. You can also reach out to the teacher to learn more.

“I just don’t want to go to school.”

Sometimes this is the only reply a child will give, and it’s more common than you might think. When you hear this, don’t just brush it off (as much as you might want to). Discuss your concerns with the child, identify the problem and help him work through it. Children need to understand that school is a responsibility they must meet. It might not always be fun, but it’s always worth it.