Is it normal that... I'm paying my son to go to school?

There’s no way this mum is letting her son become a kid who skips school. But she needs your advice on whether the solution she’s found is a long-term fix.

My son has developed a serious dislike for school. He’s in Year 5 and goes to a really good school. He has lots of friends and says nothing is wrong. He’s just not responding well to the academic pressure being placed on him.

He says they are talking about studying, exams, high school and careers. He’s really having trouble transitioning and will do anything not to go to school.

My husband and I have tried everything. We’ve spoken to his teacher, to the principal, and asked them to allow for a more gradual transition into the seriousness of education and the affect it may have on his future. I’m not sure if they’ve actually seen this through properly and to be honest the damage is done. He’s in complete meltdown mode.

We organised a meeting with the school social worker and she was great but speaking with her made him worse, I think because there was more attention and pressure on him.

At my wits’ end, and sick of begging him to get up and go to school every morning I pulled out the big guns.

If he attends school every day of the week outside of illness he will get an extra $20 iTunes credit every week. It’s worked and I am so relieved.

I know this isn’t a proper solution but in the short term I just have to get to work. Plus playing games on his iPod relaxes him and he loves tuning out after school.

But friends and family I have shared this with have pointed out that I’m teaching him he’ll be rewarded for doing things that he has to do, that everyone has to do. Have I set up a terrible habit?

Have you ever had to deal with a child who was refusing to go to school? How do you convince them to go?

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