Back to school time is here. Many kids are happy and excited to be back in their classrooms with new teachers, new friends, and new adventures. What about your child who struggles, or simply, hates school? Here are some tips on how you can help ease the transition back to school.
1. Ask your child why.
When you have a quiet moment alone with your child and they are feeling responsive, ask your child why they dislike school or what it is about school they hate. Try to pinpoint the exact issue causing their feelings of distress. If you can do that, it will be that much easier to find a solution to the problem.
2. Get specific.
Is it lunchtime your child dislikes? Does she have a hard time finding friends to play with at recess? Does his math homework cause his anxiety? Finding out what makes your child apprehensive about school is the ticket to working with the school to get your child back on track. Lots of kids may make blanket statements such as “I hate school!” Finding out if a specific part of school is causing problems means you are that much closer to helping your child. You can even role play with your child to help him or her through tough situations at school such as how to ask kids to play on the playground.
3. Recruit the experts.
Ask your child’s teacher or guidance counselor for suggestions and assistance. They are there to help and may have a keen sense themselves as to what is causing your child’s stress. Work with them to come up with a plan that works for both you and your child.
Sometimes nothing helps more than empathizing with your child and letting him or her know they are not alone. Share a story from elementary school or middle school in which you felt left out or you had to overcome a school related problem. Letting your child see they are not alone may do wonders to help them to open up and relieve some feelings of stress.
If you child is fretful about going, or returning, to school, keep these tips in mind to support your child’s shift back to school time.