Often when children pass into their preteen years, they discover the fun of bunking school. It may start out by accidentally missing one lecture, but it soon snowballs into something much worse. Soon they will have missed a lot of important lectures and then they end up performing poorly in exams.
But what worries a parent most is not knowing what the child was up to when he bunked school. Bunking is a habit that needs to be nipped in the bud. Let's look at how you can do that.
Is he bunking school?
There are many indicators to help you find out if your child has been bunking or skipping school. The most obvious one will be a notification from your child's school about his absence. Most good schools do keep the parents in the loop about the child's attendance record. If they do not contact you directly, you should stay in touch with them and check every month if your child has been attending school regularly.
Checking your child's notebooks will also help you find out if he has skipped school. Incomplete notes, negative remarks from the teacher, unfinished project assignments are all indicators that your child may not be very regular with his lectures. If you rarely see your child doing his homework, it is quite likely that he may be bunking lectures. Also, dipping exam scores are an indicator of either disinterest in studies or bunking important lectures. Whatever the issue, it may need your urgent attention.
By bunking classes, your child faces risks like getting out of touch with the subject, losing internal credits, and being identified as a truant by his school staff and peers. Another drawback of bunking is that if it is not controlled early, he may end up bunking a LOT more lectures in junior and senior college. Also, bunking makes children lazy, unfocussed and less ambitious. Also, bunking school indicates that he does not take education seriously, and this may cause problems later on in his career.
Why is he bunking school?
Do not immediately assume he is bunking school to go off and waste time with his peers. There could be a wide range of reasons that he is playing truant. In fact, it is possible that he may be facing a genuine problem at school. It is possible that he may be getting bullied in school. Some children miss school because a particular teacher keeps picking on them.
Inability to keep up with the subject may also be a reason for him to miss certain lectures. He could also miss lectures to indulge in some other activity that he cannot find time for otherwise. For example, he may be bunking school to read about something in the library, or practice guitar, or just travel around the city. Another reason could be peer pressure. School friends often mass bunk and your child may be doing the same to fit in.
Whatever the reason, it is important that you identify the cause for his bunking school before you do something about it.
How to make him stop bunking
Once you have identified the reasons for him skipping school, you and your child should sit down for a long talk. Counselling is the best way to teach a growing child about the consequences of his actions. Forcing him to perform or giving him time to fix himself may not have the desired results. Always make sure you show your child the right direction, so he can make the choice himself.
Firstly, if the reason for him bunking is genuine, do something about it as soon as possible. If it is bullying in school, speak to the school authorities immediately. If he bunks school to spend more time in other activities, support it but also inform him that he cannot do this at the cost of his education. Explain to him how he can balance his extra-curricular activities and school. And if he has problems with his subjects, you should help him out with his homework. If you cannot do it yourself, find an appropriate person to help him out.
Your problem may be a bit more complicated if he bunks school to hang out with peers. In this case, you must inform him about the evils of peer pressure and how important education is. If necessary, speak to the parents of fellow truants. Show him how neglecting his studies can make him fail in the long run. Find out what he does when he bunks school. Explain to him how this behaviour is 'cool' only temporarily, and could jeopardize his future.
And once you have lectured your child, follow up on his attendance regularly and inform him that you are doing so. This will act as a deterrent to his bunking and will encourage him to focus and work harder at school.