A new school year doesn’t just mean a different teacher and a brand new set of stationery. For some, it means moving up to secondary school, their first day of nursery, or could even mean starting afresh at a completely new school.
This is a very nerve-wracking time for parents - all anyone wants is for their child to be happy at school. But, how do you know how your child is feeling?
It’s not easy, so we’ve put together a few tips to help you spot if your child is struggling.
When you pick your child up from school, they should be excited to tell you about everything they’ve been up to for the last six hours. If they’re constantly giving you one word answers, trying to change the subject, or showing a complete lack of enthusiasm, it could be time to dig deeper.
Most of us know how hard it is to switch off after a bad day at work. The same goes for school. If a child is having a rough time, they may spend evenings dwelling on what’s happened during the day, and counting down the minutes until they have to go back tomorrow.
If you notice this behaviour make sure you’re there to offer support - they need to know that they can talk to you about anything.
Is your child often feeling under the weather on school days, but seems to magically be fine on weekends? If so, you probably don’t need me to tell you what this means.
The school version of pulling a sickie - we’ve all done it at least once!
If a child is dreading going to school, they may claim to be suffering from a variety of ailments such as a headache or stomach upset. Whilst this may often be a ploy for a sick day from a nervous child that doesn’t feel like they can handle another day at school, it could also be the manifestation of physical symptoms of anxiety.
It is important to get to the bottom of this as soon as possible, so probably best to start with a trip to your GP.
This might seem like an obvious one, however it can be easy to feel like this is an overreaction. We all know that teachers are super busy - they have almost 30 other children to worry about, so it’s normal to feel bad about wanting to take up their time.
But whilst changes in behaviour you’ve noticed in your child might not be enough to make you reach out to their teacher, it could be that the teacher has also picked up on signs that your child is struggling. When you add it all together, it may be clear that your child needs some support.
The bottom line is that their teacher is there to help, so you should absolutely arrange a chat with them if you have any concerns whatsoever.
Part of most parents’ school pickup routine will include asking their child how their day has been. However, this might not always be a true reflection of how they feel. They might be caught up in the excitement of the awesome painting they just finished or the commendation they just received from their teacher.
If you want to get a more accurate idea of how they feel about school as a whole, approach the subject when they’re not thinking about school. Drop it into conversation during a family activity on a weekend and try and have a casual chat about it. If a child is having to stop and think about reasons they enjoy school, it could be that they’re trying to hide how they really feel.
We can’t help your child make friends, run the fastest in PE, or tie their laces, but what we can do is help them succeed in their lessons and give them a bit of a confidence boost.
Our tutors want nothing more than their students to get top grades, enjoy their lessons, and breeze their way through school.
If you think it might be a particular subject that they’re struggling with, you can easily search our tutors by price, level and availability. All you need to do is head here to get started.