Hudson Valley Parent

HVP August 2016

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22 Hudson Valley Parent n August 2016 mind. "Since school is a major focus of their lives, it should not come as a surprise to a parent if their child does not want to go to school," says Smith. "Typically children look for- ward to going to school most of the time. If a child is not speaking about school at all, ask." Smith adds that listening to what a child has to say without judging or criticizing is extremely important. "If your child opens up and reveals that she has experienced bullying, a parent should contact the school and speak to the appropriate professional," she says. There are other standard tech- niques you can try to get your son or daughter to want to attend school. Schutzman suggests a punishment if they do not go, but also a reward system for their attendance and performance. "It could just be a matter of ex- plaining to your child the importance of education, asking them what they might want to be when they grow up and actually discussing what it would take to get there," he says. Schutzman adds that communi- cating with others is important as well. "Indeed it takes a village," he says. "There should be communication with a school social worker, guid- ance counselor and teachers." Teamwork Working with your child's teacher to come up with a plan to get the child to school is another way to help alleviate potential difficulties. "As a teacher, I can talk with the child to see if I can help while they are at school and see if we can come up with tips, tricks, distractions and, of course, solutions," Dreyer says. "It might include anything from having a snack to being the teacher's helper, DOESN'T WANT TO GO (Continued from Page 21) to setting up a reward system for the positive drop off. I would also suggest for the family to make a con- nection between home and school. Bring in something from home to share with the class, or initiate a show and tell time. I would also recommend for the child to bring in pictures of their family members or even make their family something special while at school." Once the child starts attending class, Dreyer says that it's okay to call during the day to check in on them. "We can also send pictures to the parent of their child enjoying their day," she adds. "I would reassure the parents that this is completely nor- mal and we will work through this together. It might be a process but it will all work out. It is just a matter of time." Lisa Iannucci is a freelance writer who lives in Poughkeepsie and is a regular contributor to Hudson Valley Parent. "By the time a child gets to a point where they do not want to go to school, there has already been some breakdown in communication." SCOTT SCHUTZMAN family therapist

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