teen girl sitting with her head on her knees, upset, dislike or hate school concept

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Most kids complain about their teachers, studying, or school at some point during their education. This commiseration is fairly normal, but what can you do if your child hates school? Consider the following tips.

Ask Them Why

If a child hates school, there’s a reason for their angst. Nobody hates things without a clear reason. Ask what’s going on and listen carefully to their answer. 

If they give you a one-word answer or tell you they don’t know why, make sure you reinforce that you are interested in hearing what they have to say. That said, don’t prod. Allow them to come to you when they feel ready. 

Find Positive Things About School Together

Don’t dismiss your child’s feelings. If they genuinely believe they hate school, let that be their current reality. However, you can also try to shift their thinking by focusing on positive associations. 

For instance, a younger child might love recess or have a favorite book their teacher reads. Adolescents and teenagers may have a harder time with this exercise, especially if they have latched onto the idea that school is terrible, but you can help them by pointing out the things you, as a parent or guardian, consider positive, such as their new friends or a specific class you know they enjoy.

Seek Support

When a child hates school, they often believe they hate other things as well, like themselves, their home life, their friends, etc.  

These issues often stem from mental or behavioral health problems, which may require professional support. 

Read more about trouble in school.

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