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jennb
jennb asks:
Q:

How can I motivate my child to go to school?

My 4-year old daughter has been loving preschool this year, unlike previous attempts. Until one day last week, when another child called her "stupid". Now, she is refusing to go to school. I am looking for any advice/opinions on how to handle this. I want school to be a positive experience, so I am not sure about forcing her to go. She is a pretty sensitive child. She is also very bright. Her preschool teacher has told me that she thinks she will be bored in Kindergarten next year because she knows a lot of what gets taught. Right now, I am telling her that there will be no television/computer/playing games with mom as I don't want her to think that staying home is a fun experience. Any thoughts on how to handle this situation?
In Topics: Motivation and achievement at school
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Louiseasl
Aug 10, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Hello Jennb,

If I was asked to name one of the toughest years in a child's life, I would pick four!  This is the age where they are caught between being one of the "big" kids and also being full of fears of the unknown because soon they will be going to the "big kid school".  

For a sensitive child who has recently had a negative school experience you may wish to be pro-active.  Go visit the school your child will be attending. Play on the playground and perhaps mingle with other children that are there.  If there is someone from her preschool who she likes and will be attending the same school, invite them along.  Also, make "play dates" with a child she likes from her preschool.  One child's negative behavior should not dictate your daughter's otherwise positive experience.

As for the item about boredom.  Most kindergarten programs are rather intensive these days.  They also tend to be geared for a variety of students at different skills levels.  Parents can supplement learning at home, as well.

Good luck and remember that this website has many good articles to help with preschool, kindergarten and positive reinforcement strategies.

Louise Masin Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Owner of Signing Families
http://www.SigningFamilies.com


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Additional Answers (1)

rkaiulani
rkaiulani writes:
Hi Jenn,
This sounds like quite a dilemma - I think that you are on the right track by making time at home not fun. Perhaps you should try and get your child to think about all the good things that she is missing: her friends, her teacher, her favorite activities: "just think how much fun you're missing out on!" type of thing. Here are a few articles about this that may help:
http://www.education.com/magazine/article/School_Refusal/
http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Understanding_School/
> 60 days ago

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