With the crisis of worthless (or not?) college degrees getting old, media outlets must find a new way to scare parents about the many mistakes they've made in their child's education. To the rescue: Is your child a "school-refusal" freak?
The WSJ today explores this new and fearsome trend, of kids who just won't shut up and get their asses to school, no matter how much you explain to them that you don't give a good god damn if they're getting bullied or picked on or whatever, you have to be at work in thirty minutes, if the kid enjoys a roof over his or her head, that is. More than a quarter of all kids may "exhibit some degree of school refusal behavior at some point," thought that includes "truancy," and therefore seems wildly low.
More importantly: this is all your fault, of course, so what do you do about it? Do you coddle your anxiety-ridden child? Allow them to stay home from school? Escort them into class, letting them hold mommy's hand the whole way? Beware. You may be in for more than you bargained for.
A 1997 study, published in Comprehensive Psychiatry, followed 35 7- to 12-year-olds treated for school refusal. Twenty to 29 years later, they were found to have had more psychiatric treatment and to have lived with their parents more often than a comparison group.
Being nice to your kid now may result in them still living in your house 29 years later. Get your ass to class, kid. Those bullies are too small to beat you nearly as bad as your parents can. They'll appreciate it later, or at least you will!