One evening last week, just before bedtime these three words came from my oldest son, “I hate school.” He’s almost finished with 2nd grade. Part of me had known it was only a matter of time until my kids started to feel this way, but the words hadn’t been said until that night.
My two sons really are excelling in school: in their schoolwork, friendships, and relationships with their teachers. But in the past few months I’ve seen the weariness creep in as they realize that school is something they’ve got to do nearly every day for 10+ more years! So what do I do when they just don’t want to go?
Michele Timmons, a mom and teacher for 20 years says,
Get to the heart of the matter by finding the root cause for your child’s feelings. Set aside some time to have a one-on-one conversation with your child about school. Ask open ended questions to learn more about what they really like and dislike about school.
Parenting skills educator Patty Wipfler says,
Help your child with her feelings. Listening to her talk or cry about the teacher or about some injustice in the classroom will enable her to figure out ways to avoid a bad situation or protect herself … Your other task is to help your child deal with the damaging things that she does encounter in school, such as classmates who constantly tease or fight, or teachers who belittle or punish children or act irrationally toward them. Work out with your child how and how much she wants you to help.
Talking with my sons, I haven’t uncovered any major reasons why they might dislike school: no bullies, harsh teachers, or learning issues. I think a big factor is that they’re just eager for summer vacation! Other parenting blogs point out that dissing school is often “the cool thing to do” for kids at a certain age, and that may be part of the issue too.
Do you have any insight or advice to help kids stay positive about school? Feel free to share your comments.
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