Common Complaints Kids Have About School and How To Combat Them

For many children, school takes up a good chunk of their young lives, and much of their attention and brain-power as well. Each child will have their own unique school experiences, and of course their own opinions and feelings about school. It may feel disheartening for some parents to hear their children complaining about something they may not have too much control over, but there are ways in which parents can help by simply listening.

Obstacles and Challenges
Kids are learning new things every day, and sometimes children can feel overwhelmed by not only the information that they are expected to learn and understand, but the tasks, assignments and necessary studying that they need to complete as well. Depending on how old your child is and what grade they are in, the problem may differ. Younger children may not be able to vocalize the exact source of their frustration, but it helps to weigh in with their teacher about it. Your child may be distracted, fidgety, or have another problem such as a learning or attention deficit problem that needs to be addressed. Sometimes it could be something as simple as who they are sitting next to or how much energy they have. For older children, finding the root cause may be easier. Your child may be able to point out a specific topic, homework assignment, skill or concept that is difficult for them. From there, you can set up supplemental study sessions, look into buying supplementary material, go to the library with them, or have them enrolled in after-school tutoring or study-buddy programs to help.

Teacher Woes
Hearing that your child does not like their teacher can be tricky. It’s important that you ask your child to explain where their dislike or frustration comes from because this will help you reach a solution. Maybe the teacher assigns too much homework, or has the class participate in activities or games that your child may not be fond of. If the issue is more personal, then it is important that you look into the matter further by setting up a meeting with the teacher and another school administrator. It’s important that parents gain some perspective and get the teacher’s point of view before moving forward with a solution in order to avoid any misunderstandings or other problems.

Morning Maladies
Though children tend to get up earlier than teenagers, not every child is the same, and some kids may have difficulties finding the energy to get ready and go to school in the morning. Feeling a little grumpy and groggy is normal – and let’s admit adults would rather shut their alarm clock up than actually get ready for work in the morning. But some kids may be especially tired, unhappy and unfocused in the morning. This can prevent them from doing well in school because they are not capable of giving their complete attention, but it can also be the sign of something more serious.

First, parents should examine their evening/bedtime, morning/wakeup routine. There may be a reason why your child isn’t sleeping well, causing them to get inadequate rest. But while tiredness can come from not sleeping well, it can also be the result of not eating well, too. Making sure that your children eat a balanced diet is vital, but many kids, and adults, fail to eat complete breakfasts due to busy schedules. Make sure you and your family are getting the sleep and the nutrients you need.

It’s important that parents listen to what their children have to say, and if they are complaining about something it is important that you find the root cause before telling them to do anything or jumping to conclusions about it. Some kids may have legitimate issues and complaints. Other children may be using complaints to cover up other problems, such as issues with classmates or even a learning disorder that they may not understand or feel embarrassed of. If you hear your child complaining about school, it’s important that you listen but also that you investigate the cause.

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Partnering with Your Child’s Teacher

Many parents first learn of their child’s new classroom teacher when the school supply list is first sent out, if not at the tail end of the previous school year. Regardless of which grade your child is in, there are different reasons as to why you should reach out to their new teachers and develop a rapport. First, it can help to get to know the teacher and see what they are like for yourselves. Second, you may need to explain some of your child’s needs or behaviors beforehand. And lastly, you can gather some information regarding your child’s new teacher and their expectations early on so that you as well as your child understand what is needed from the upcoming school year.

Working with your child’s teacher can help you and your child. Some teachers openly invite parents early on in the year, whether during the first couple weeks of school or the weeks just prior to the first day, to come in and learn more about the environment in which their children will be learning for the next several months. It is highly encouraged that parents take teachers up on this preliminary meeting for a variety of reasons. It can be troublesome to have to talk to a teacher for the first time because a negative event precedes and demands it, so in the event that this should happen to you for any reason, having that initial meeting with the teacher first can help make meetings like that much easier to swallow. Additionally, working with your child’s teacher can give you a better understanding of the “big picture” at school and in your child’s current grade. It will help you to know what the educational objectives are in your child’s classroom, as well getting a better idea of what the teacher is like in terms of personality and temperament.

Specific needs. Whether your child has a learning disability or simply has behavioral quirks that could use some coaxing and understanding, explaining this to your child’s new teacher early on can also help to alleviate, if not prevent, future issues or disputes. If your child’s teacher goes into the school year with a marginal understanding of your child, they then have the tools with which to better judge their behavior and needs in the classroom, avoiding misunderstandings and other problems. It can also help to tell your child’s new teacher whether they have any particular difficulties with certain subjects, concepts or classroom activities, making it easier on the teacher as well as your child in the future.

The more a teacher knows about a student, the better he/she can teach them. They could suggest ways to approach a writing assignment that involves your child’s interests in which they would have not known about without your partnership.

Knowing what to expect. Making sure that you, your child, and their teacher are all at least a bit acquainted with one another can do a lot to make the rest of the school year much easier than you expect. Making sure to meet with your child’s teacher can make future appointments and meetings much easier to make and it can also make them more productive and informative.

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