Why children sometimes refuse to go to school

What is a parent to do when a child clearly says, “I don’t want to go to school today.”

It might be a problem with a stomach or headache or illness that sometimes seems to disappear very quickly. It’s not easy knowing how to react and what action to take. Parents might be concerned that there are academic or social pressures or wonder if the child feels bullied or unsafe in school. The child might be anxious about something he or she cannot explain.

A panel of experts working with children of all ages will shed some light and understanding on these issues at a free program on Monday, Feb. 23, 7 to 8:30 p.m., in the G & B Cultural Center, 49 New Street.

Colleen Fawcett, Wilton’s Youth Services coordinator for the past 20 years, will speak on school refusal and different things to consider when dealing with it. Questions of what to look for, what’s within the typical range of behavior and what’s not, when to be concerned and what to do about it will be addressed.

Additional panelists will include professionals working with Kids in Crisis of Greenwich, who will provide information on how they work with youth, families, local providers and schools. Two of their Teen Talk counselors working in Ridgefield High School and Central Middle School will be in attendance in addition to a crisis services counselor addressing school anxieties affecting students of all ages.

Pre-registration for this event is encouraged by emailing Sheryl at SherylKayne@Gmail.com or calling Lisa at 203-858-7491.

The evening’s program and conversations are presented by NAMI-CAN (Child and Adolescent Network) Wilton, a free monthly support group for parents and caregivers of children up to age 17. NAMI-CAN meets the fourth Monday of each month. The support group will meet Feb. 23 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the G & B Cultural Center, the same morning as the evening panel on Understanding School Refusal Behavior.