Pregnancy & Parenting

Dealing with truancy

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Question

My son has being playing truant - what should I do about it?

It’s easy to underestimate the seriousness of truancy, after all it is called playing truant. But skipping school is certainly no game. It’s often a warning sign of a deeper, more worrying problem.

So what should you do if your child has been playing truant? The five key steps to remember are as follows:

Don't delay
Truancy must be addressed quickly. The longer it goes on, the less chance the problem can be easily resolved, and the greater risk of your child getting into even more trouble.

Stay calm
It's a natural reaction to fly off the handle when you find out your son or daughter has been skipping school. But shouting and screaming wont help you get to the bottom of the problem. You need to stay calm to try to identify the reason why your child doesn’t want to go to school.

Listen to what they have to say
Addressing truancy means addressing the reasons behind it. And the only way you’ll find out these reasons is through your child. Sit him down and ask him calmly why he’s not going to school. Tell him you wont be angry with what he tells you, and reassure him that you’ll help him get through the problem, whatever it is.

Let him know how you feel
Although it’s important not to lose your temper with child, you must tell him know how upset you are. But at the same time be careful not to make them feel too guilty about it. Remember there may be a valid reason why your child doesn’t want to go to school.

Work with the school
The more you cooperate with your child’s school, the better chance you have of resolving the underling problem, as well as avoiding too harsh a punishment. Teachers and headmasters appreciate parents working with them rather than against them.

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