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My Child Doesn't Like School

Kids often complain that they don’t like school, that they’re bored, or that school isn’t fun. Although every parent wants their child to be happy, going to school just isn’t negotiable. School is an important part of a child's life. During the time kids are at school, they interact with friends, have lunch, learn, and adapt their behavior to a variety of people and social situations. In fact, much about school is learning to deal with social pressures.

In middle school, social pressures dramatically increase. Whereas, a nine-year old could care less about a blemish on his face, the world may seem like it's coming to an end if that blemish appears on your pre-teen daughter’s face. If your child displays an extreme dislike for school, this may be her way of telling you that something else is going on, whether she knows what it is or not.

Consider the following parenting suggestions for uncovering the real problem with school:

  • Think of the different aspects of the school experience. Issues that cause discomfort may be academic, emotional, or social. Talk to your teen about what makes her uncomfortable.
  • Ask pertinent questions. Has something changed recently? Is your child experiencing problems with friends? Does she have someone to sit with at lunch? It is important to talk to your child.
  • Be patient. As kids get older, they are often not as likely to confide in you as they might have been just the year before.
  • Talk with parents of your child's friends and see if anything is going on you may not have known about.

If the problem persists, talk to your child’s teacher. Find out how she’s doing in class and with other children.