What to do when your Child hates School!

when your child does not want to go to school- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Education, most of us believe is the ticket to a good life. It certainly is the first step towards opening a few doors in life. So when your child is completely apathetic towards or worse, hates school, it can be quite worrisome. This can feel worse, if you were a straight A student in school and are completely baffled by your child’s indifferent attitude. Here are a few things you can do when your child seems disinterested in school:

1. Find their strengths: So your kid is moaning about school and is not doing well overall in academics. But take a closer, careful look at his academics- is he really not doing good at all- or are you focusing only on math and science? Is he flourishing in English and History? Are your expectations based on what you think he should be studying? Find his interest and help him shine in those areas of passion. That would have an overflow effect on other subjects on which he has to work harder.

2. Check your Attitude: Are you nagging your child? Or are you being positive and supportive? Yelling and shaming your child usually only pushes your child to rebel more and stay away from the unpleasantness. Find out how you can help your child by following up regularly with his homework submissions, notes he takes in class etc.

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3. Reward: While it is true that intrinsic motivation is the best, if your child is simply unmotivated, a carrot might be a good idea to get him off the rut. Once he does well and enjoys the satisfaction it brings, he might be intrinsically motivated. Therefore think of a good reward that might kick start his efforts. If one needs sales incentives as an adult to push ourselves harder, why not offer it to kids too?

4. Explore other Curricula: Today we have the option to try other curriculum like IGCSE, IB etc. which might provide a more hands on approach to education that might be better suited for your child. Ask around and research the schools around that might operate in these new age curricula which might make school more exciting for your child. Of course it is also a fact that these come with a heavy price tag. But if you can afford it, it might be worth exploring.

5. Bad company? : Sometimes your child might be in a bad social situation at school which is also dragging him down in academics. Find out if that is the case at school- Talk to his teacher to figure out how he is behaving in class. Does he participate in discussions, ask questions when he is not sure and interacts well with his peer group? Is he lonely? These answers might give you an idea of how your child is doing in school and how that could be impacting his interest for school.

6. Get outside help: Hire a tutor. It is not possible for a parent to do everything and we also don’t have the skills- get outside help for your child to have some structure in learning the subjects that he is finding difficult. Not performing well can also drag your child’s enthusiasm for school down.

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7. Extra-curricular: See if you can get your child to participate in extra-curricular activities that would make the school day more fun for your child. If there are any options like hobby clubs etc sign him up for it. This would give them something to look forward to, besides the usual textbook environment.

8. Change the environment: Finally if your child has been stuck in a rut for a while, try changing the school. Getting a fresh new environment, friends and teachers may just be what your child needs to make a brand new start. He might be in a good school already, but if it is just not working for your child, then no matter how big a name the school might have, it is useless for your child. Pick a different school to refresh and recharge the system- infuse some fresh enthusiasm and a new opportunity to prove himself.

Research has shown that structured school is hard for some kids. Sitting rigidly in one place and not having much of a control over the day and having to endlessly listen to some one talking is just not any fun. Some resist it more than others. Home schooling has just started in a very small way in India as some parents are beginning to embrace the fact that their kid is just not cut out for school. But that is a ginormous responsibility that most of us cannot even wrap our minds around. So the next best thing that we can do is to be as supportive as possible for our child to enable schooling to be as less an unpleasant experience as possible.

Click here to learn how to cheer up a sad child.

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