Hi everyone! I've been a long term member but not a frequent poster.
My son is a young 1st grader (summer birthday). He says he hates school, he'd rather be at home, school is "boring" and "stupid" and "too hard". Several times he has had a full anxiety attack and full refusal to attend school. The principal has been able to talk him out of it and he has gone on to class and had a normal day, but during these episodes he is sobbing, begging, it is very hard. We haven't figured out yet what is triggering these episodes-he usually has some specific complaints, but minor issues (ie the teacher was "mad" at him because she looked at him weird). We are seeing a counsellor and it seems that his anxiety stems from having to leave home rather than anything going on at school.
He has good friends and is well-liked by other kids and the teachers/principal. He is super sensitive to any kind of correction and reports "getting in trouble" a lot, when the teacher perhaps gave him a warning such as "Sit in your seat". The teacher has only reported that he occasionally needs a reminder to stay on task, never has had any major behavior issues.
At home he is a perfectionist and will often want to quit a task saying it is "too hard" when in fact he just doesn't want to do it or is frustrated that it isn't quite right. He has little desire to do school work, but when I get him in the right mind frame he breezes through it all very quickly. He is reading books such as "Runaway Ralph", the Junie B series, the Magic Treehouse series for fun, which are all at reading level M-O, yet at school the teacher identified him as level D (on A-Z reading scale, Z being highest level). The tasks he is breezing through at home she feels are challenging for him since that is what he says/how he acts at school. His grades are all "grade level" but I know he is capable of more.
I don't want to push him, I keep thinking this will maybe improve as he gets older and finds his own interests, and learns better how to deal with the anxiety and perfectionistic tendencies. I am also afraid of him falling into the habit of underperforming and getting more and more bored.
Anyone else dealing with this? I was the kid who loved school and was disappointed at breaks, so this is unfamiliar ground for me. Any suggestions on getting him more interested and motivated would be appreciated.