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01st Nov 2023

‘My five-year-old refuses to go to school, I don’t know what to do’


A woman has asked for advice because her young step-son is vehemently refusing to go to school.

She said she fears the five-year-old is going to ‘spiral out of control’ and that everyday she is receiving calls from his school to collect him after an hour.

The step-mum explained that the school even put him on his own timetable to make him more comfortable but that he’s becoming so badly behaved that they’re ‘struggling to cope’.

Things have progressed now and he is refusing to go to bed or eat his tea at times – but many parents have reassured her that these things happen with kids and she shouldn’t panic but rather take action now to avoid it getting worse.

Taking to Reddit’s parenting forum the woman said: “So my five-year-old step son has been out of control for quite sometime and he’s seriously spiralling out of control. It doesn’t matter what we do, nothing works.

“His school have even put him on his own timetable and are only having him in half days and after an hour they’re calling his mam asking her to pick him up.

“He’s so badly behaved and we’re struggling to cope. He has three older siblings who are all really well behaved and don’t cause any issues. I feel like his school have made things harder by letting him take control there and have his way.

“Now he wants his way at home all the time. Refuses to go to bed, wont eat tea at times. Won’t have breakfast unless his mam makes it etc. He’s very bossy. We’re very chill parents but we’re struggling to keep our cool with him at times.”

She then asked others on the platform: “How can we deal with this? He’s been like this since the last couple of months of reception and now he’s a month and a half into year 1. He’s so stubborn. It’s unbearable.”

One mum responded and reassured her by simply saying: “He’s 5. This is normal. Stop freaking out.”

Another woman said: “This is more common than you think, they generally grow out of it.”

While a third added that if she is worried she should book “play therapy or a pediatric neurology appointment”.

What advice would you give this mum?