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I Give School An “F”: Handling A Child Who Is Having A Negative Back To School Experience

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By mia bolaris-forget

I recently struck up a conversation with my trainer about her kids and when the go back to school, to which she elatedly answered (with a HUGE) smile…next week. However, while I don’t personally know her little ones, I’m sure that outside some new niceties, they are not sharing her exuberant enthusiasm.

In fact, most kids DREAD going back to school, and if your “lucky” they’ll air their grievances and voice their complaints…allowing you to figure out just what it is about school that’s “not” cool.

· Mean Teacher: Maybe the teacher just had a “bad” day, or maybe there’s good reason for her being “mean” to your kid. Still, finding out the underlying explanation is necessary. Ask you child about what exactly the teacher does or says that bothers him or her. And, don’t forget to show some compassion and empathy, even if your child is (partially) “to blame”, by perhaps misbehaving.

Explain to your little on that not having a particular fondness for each teacher “is” normal and okay, but that he or she has to do his or her part in and out of the classroom (for example with homework assignments) to keep the peace. And, don’t hesitate to give your child guidance and directions on how to get POSITIVE attention and positive notoriety in class, such as by sitting still, asking intelligent and relevant questions and doing what he or she is supposed to.

If the discontent continues, arrange for a personal meeting and discussion with the teacher. And, if this fails to yield positive results, take it to the next level and meet with the school principal, or counselor and discuss what can be done, perhaps even switching teachers.

I don’t have any friends: Is your child shy? A bully? Or just socially awkward? Whatever the reason, it up to you to understand the hurt and “humiliation” he or she is (or may be) experiencing and to help him or her get through this very important hurdle. Remember this valuable lesson prepares them for getting along with others later on in life, a basic and essential skill.

Do you part by sharing similar stories of when you were in school and how you got through it. Then, do what you can do by becoming a proactive parent. Get involved in school functions, activities and/or trips. Perhaps even volunteer in the classroom. Get to know other moms and their kids from your kid’s class and those around the neighourhood…and force your own “friendship” by making plans or inviting them over, and opening the friendship door for your child.

Point out the positives by honing in on a particular attribute, trait or skill that will likely make your child stand out (in a good way). Help your child cultivate that skill or interest and teach him or her how to use that skill and/or share it with others to invoke their interest.

“ I hate school”: This is one of the broadest and most troubling sentiments a parent can hear. And, it’s likely that as parents, the first thing we want to do is reacht…but it’s best to hold back, at least until after your child has calmed down. In fact, you may even want to give him or her some space before approaching the topic and doing some parental probing.

Once your child has had some time to “cool off”, gently bring up this “uncomfortable” topic and see how you can help and what you can do…by doing more than just offering solutions. Help your child pinpoint specific issues that are causing problems and pick out the positives. Ask about things he or she likes about school and REALLY focus on those…and show your child that in reality, there’s a balance of “good” and “bad” and the “bad” may not be as bad as it seems.






Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > I Give School An “F”: Handling A Child Who Is Having A Negative Back To School Experience

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