All of a sudden, your kid is nursing a cold. Then it’s a horrible tummy ache. Then their head hurts.
Trouble is, they were fine just a few minutes ago.
Coincidentally, you find out that one (or more) of the following things is occurring:
1. Your child has a newfound bully.
2. Your child is struggling with a new subject: math/spelling/reading.
3. Your child dislikes his new teacher or there’s been a change in the curriculum.
4. Your child just wants some extra attention from you, alone.
5. Your child needs a “mental health day” away from school.
There are many reasons behind why your child may say that they’re sick when they’re not.
They could be trying to avoid a difficult situation at school. They may be feeling lazy and, like all of us, just need a day off to relax and reboot. Or, sadly and more alarmingly, their feigning illness may be a subtle cry for attention regarding something that’s very wrong at school, or an effort to avoid an uncomfortable or troubling situation that may await.
We’ve all tried this trick as kids — I know I did. My parents still laugh so many years later about the time I faked illness when I heard that they had both taken the day off work to have a movie date, only to be sidetracked by my “mystery illness.”
Indeed, most instances of “faking it” are caused by the usual reasons, most of which are innocuous. It’s the more insidious ones that we, as parents, need to be aware of so that we can address the causes at the basis of why our children are avoiding school.
If you believe your child is faking being sick, what do you do?