Whilst the primary purpose of school is to receive an education, school institutions provide children and young adults with crucial skills across a range of developmental areas. This includes instilling social values, routine, work ethic and responsibility. Subsequently, parents should aim to encourage regular school attendance for their children from an early age to avoid establishing habits of avoidance.
Legally, all children between ages 5 and 16 must receive a suitable, full time education. Parents are tasked with the responsibility to ensure this happens. The Australian schooling system is conscious of truancy and engages in school attendance tracking if and when children are consistently absent. However, parents may find themselves in the circumstance where their child is reluctant to attend school and regularly employs excuses for not going to school. If this is the case, it is likely that the child is struggling with an avoidance issue and is unable to communicate this. Issues from difficulties asking for homework help, to friendship and bullying concerns, can all contribute to a child’s reluctance to attend school. As a parent, the solution is not to consistently provide absent notes for the school. Instead, you should try to determine the reason behind your child’s reluctance.
If you find your child simply would rather stay home because “it’s more fun”, a quick solution can be to provide school attendance incentives. This could include their favourite snack when they get home, or a trip to the ice cream shop. You may want to create a calendar, where 1 week of uninterrupted school attendance is rewarded by a favourite treat or activity that weekend.
If your child is struggling from more severe issues, such as anxiety, you may want to contact their teacher to ascertain the state of their academic progress and social relationships. Not every school is the right fit for every child, and if this is the case for your family, you may consider moving schools for your child.
Research tells us that children with poor attendance issues may have less chance of securing a job when they are adults. Further, children who regularly practice truancy are more likely to engage in criminal activities. The best way to ensure your child is regularly attending school is to keep lines of communication open with them, encouraging honesty so that any issue that they face can be openly discussed.
If you require further strategies to create healthy habits of school attendance for your child, book a TutorTime tutor today.