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What to do When Your Child Hates School

written by: Cheryl Gabbert • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 8/2/2012

When your child hates school, it can be a difficult year for both parents and kids. The good news is there are things parents can do to help. If your child hates school, try some of these tips that are sure to help your child better adjust to the classroom setting.

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    Learning that your child hates school can often leave a parent feeling confused and concerned. This article will give you a few tips for dealing with a child who says they are unhappy.

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    Listen To Your Child

    If your child starts saying that he hates school, the first thing a parent should do is find out why. Don't assume it's just laziness or that he doesn't like school work. Usually a child who hates school is a child who experiences some negative situations in the classroom. Ask your child what exactly about school he doesn't like. Listen to what he says, and be sure to ask enough questions to get to the bottom of it all. Once you know what the problem is, you can take steps to fix it.

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    Schedule a Parent Teacher Conference

    Once you know what is bothering your child, schedule a parent teacher conference. Talk to your child's teacher in a non-threatening way, sharing the problem and attempting to come up with a solution together. If the teacher said something to upset your child, you will need to share that information. Just be sure to do so in a respectful way. In most cases, a conference will help the situation improve. If the problem continues after speaking with the teacher, you may need to talk to the principal about your concerns.

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    Address Problems with School Work

    If your child is having problems related to school work, set aside time each day to help. Stay in contact with your child's teacher, and find out what skills need extra work. When your child starts to catch up, he may feel more confident, and begin to like going to school again. If the problem is more serious, you may need to have your child tested in order to get extra help at school. Many children suffer from learning disabilities in one or more areas, and may require extra tutoring in a resource class.

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    Address Problem with Other Kids

    When a child hates school, the problem could be that he is having trouble with other kids. Some children are shy, and making friends is difficult. Lonely hours on the playground with nobody to play with can make a child dread school. Kids who have trouble socially are some of the least happy children in schools. These are the kids who don't want to come to school in many cases. In order to help your child feel more comfortable with other students, help him practice social situations at home. Role play asking a child to play or sit beside him at lunch. Take your child to ballgames and other social functions at school. If your child is able to make more friends, he is likely to be more content at school.

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    Remember, the child who hates school most likely also feels confused and concerned. By taking the time to learn more and address any problems head-on, you will not only help the child work through the will demonstrate to your child that they are important and that you care about them.