My Child Hates School – What can I do?
Fostering the right relationship between you and your child is probably one of the most important things you can possibly do. A relationship with learning and acquiring new skills is not only good for the mind but it is critical in today’s world where it is not unreasonable for a person to follow two or more careers during the course of their working life. There are many aspects to the school experience that need to be understood and accepted by a child and parents play an important part in passing on the right approach to school.
Children are naturally inquisitive so in theory what is there not to like about school? Contact with lots of other children, scheduled times when all they have to do is play and a menu of stimulating activities to get really involved in should keep them running towards the school gates. Sadly, however, for many children school can become a less than positive experience but there are a number of things as a parent hat you can do to correct this situation.
The first thing you need to do is understand why your child does not like school which is often more difficult to do than you might think. Children know that they are supposed to work hard at school and this can frequently mean they feel the need to cover up their dislike of going to school. Bath time conversations or gentle chats as they are dropping off to sleep can provide a good insight into which of the myriad potential reasons for hating school is at the root of the problem.
Be prepared to broach the subject several times with your child as they may not be completely open in the first place. Look out for a wide range or causes, boredom, bullying, finding the work too hard, finding the work too easy things will rarely be as they initially appear. A child who declares they are bored at school may genuinely not be interested in the subject matter, they may be being taught in an unstimulating way or they may find the pace of work too slow. Whatever the reason, as a parent you bare best placed to get to the bottom of the problem.
Once you are sure of the situation you need to work in partnership with your child’s school to turn the situation round. It is important that however the issue is dealt with before it develops into something significant. The school should be interested in all you have to say because they are equally interested in your child’s progress. If the problem stems from an academic issue, work too tough, too easy or just plain boring you should be able to plan a way out of the situation. Schools are duty bound to provide a curriculum that stimulates all of their pupils and that means accepting there is a need to meet individual needs.
If the problem is a social one, rooted in playground events or in clashes with other children it is an opportunity for some time spent on explaining how to deal with relationship issues. Whatever the cause of your child hating school you and the school need to tackle it in the same way, with the same messages at home AND at school if you are to change the perception that school can be fun and stimulating.