By Sue Browder from Reader's Digest September 1997
Complaining about school is normal, but you should be concerned if your child starts to fake illness to avoid goingor refuses to talk about her school day.Here are some of the most common reasons kids hate school–and strategies to put them back on the road to success:
Anxiety: One fear that keeps children fromenjoying school is separation anxiety. It most frequently occurs during times of family stress or when a child is about to enter a new school. You can help your child handle fearful situations–fromspeaking up in class to taking tests–by rehearsing at home.
Loneliness: Some kids dislike school because they have no friends. This may be the case if your child is always alone, feigns illness to avoidclass outings or gives away treasured possessions in an attempt to be liked. Often loneliness problems can be solved by bolstering social skills.
Bullies: Students sometimes hate school because theyare afraid to attend. If your child seems quiet and anxious, has few school friends or suddenly shows a drop in self-esteem, he may be a victim of a bully.
The common advice for this problem–teachyour child to be assertive–isn’t always enough. He recommends instead that elementary-school children tell a teacher. In middle school and above, kids should stick with friends and avoid places wherethe bully hangs out.
Trouble Learning.:Some children’s school complaints spring from physical problems.Vision problems are surprisingly common, so parents need to be sensitive to signs of trouble.While reading, does your child cover an eye, tilt her head or lose her place? Does she hold books closer than the distance from her elbow to her knuckles? Does she complain of itchy eyes, headaches ornausea after detailed work?
Kids with learning disabilities often get frustrated, fail to finish assignments or appear to ignore the teacher. They may be unable to remember simple facts, such as...