angry little girl

Ask Rene:
My Kid Doesn’t Like School And Will Try ANYTHING To Get Out Of It! Help!

Dear Rene,

Here’s my question!

My son Jason is 10 years old and hates going to school – he says it’s ‘boring’ and a ‘waste of time’ – typical kid’s stuff I guess.

The problem is that Jason will go to any lengths to avoid attending school. He’s always pulling sick days, which are a nightmare for me as I work full time and am a single mom (and Jason has an 8 year old sister Kylie who also has to be accommodated). But I’m scared of sending him to school in case he is genuinely ill – so he invariably gets his way. He’s very manipulative and knows just what to say to get me to give in.

I just wondered if Casey and Cole ever tried to pull sick days with yourself and Buff – and how were you able to tell the difference! And what are you personal rules on school attendance in general – and have you ever broken them?


Loretta, Detroit

Hey Loretta:

This is a little bit of a tricky one because I do understand not wanting to send your kid to school sick but you’re in a bit of a pickle. Both Casey and Cole have, at one time or another, tried to pull this with me so I have a bit of experience. Here’s my suggestion:

1. Find Out What's Really Bothering Him

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Why is Jason so sour on school? Saying it’s boring or a waste of time is an easy, catchall answer. You might need to dig a little deeper, probe a little more about what’s going on there. He’s at an age where friends are becoming more important to him; did he have a falling out with one? Is he being teased or bullied? Does he hate his teachers or is he having trouble learning the concepts they are presenting? If he’s like my kids (and most kids for that matter) it might take a little bit of work for you to get some information out of him. Keep trying until you do.