As a parent it is upsetting to hear that your child hates school. School is supposed to be a place of learning, fun and friendships, a secure place where a child can feel comfortable and safe. There’s no point getting into a power struggle every day with your child just to get them through the school gates. Instead get to the root of the problem and help to change your child’s perspective. Here are some ideas to help you work through the problem:
Find out the root cause of your child’s feelings
There are a number of common reasons why a child may feel that they hate school. Sometimes it is a mixture of reasons or you may find that one issue has led to another. Make time to talk to your child about their experience of school. Choose your moment carefully. Make sure they are feeling safe, calm and loved. Get them to open up and make sure you listen without comment or judgement. You will then be able to decide what the root of the issue is and start to devise some ways to move forward. There is always something that can be done to improve the situation.
Brainstorm solutions to the issue
Discuss solutions with your child and see which they are most comfortable with. There may be a number of things you can try depending on the cause of the problem. Will you need the help of others to resolve the issue? Have a meeting with your child’s teacher and discuss a strategy for dealing with the problem. They will have seen this issue before and should be able to tell you what has worked in the past. Be patient. Things aren’t going to turn around overnight. Arrange to meet the teacher again to talk about progress.
Address the issue of bullying
A common issue for children who say they hate school is that they feel they are being bullied. As a parent you need to get to the bottom of this issue. Is it really a case of bullying or is your child just having trouble getting on with peers at the moment? Working on assertiveness can help as it can be difficult for a child to address their bully or peers respectfully and express how they are feeling. Try role-playing the situation so your child feels confident and prepared when it comes to telling their peers how they are feeling.
Address the issue of anxiety
There are many causes of anxiety for children especially in this time of seemingly constant assessment and exams. Help your child keep everything in perspective. Devise strategies for coping with their anxiety and show them how you deal with your stress. For younger children it may be separation anxiety that is causing some difficulty around going to school. If your child’s anxiety seems serious and you have had no success trying to ease the problem it may help to talk to a medical professional.
Hire a private tutor
Another common issue is that a child’s learning needs aren’t being met. It might be that the way a subject is taught isn’t effective or engaging for your child or they are just struggling academically with one subject or more for some reason. Or if they have special learning needs the teacher may not know how to deal with these. Your child could benefit from additional support in the form of private tuition. This problem should be addressed quickly before school becomes an even more negative experience. One company who can help in your search for tutors is Fleet Tutors. They work with tutors who understand how to get the best out of children by providing personalised tuition.