Many of us look back at our time at school with mixed emotions. However, I can remember my school years. The memories are clear, and so are the feelings that come with them. My parents were both hard-working professionals that had little time to support me with homework and studying. As a result, I mainly relied on friends to help me. School has become a lot more complicated than it was in the 80s. Teens face many challenges, and above all, they need the support of their parents. As the teen years approach, it becomes clear that becoming a teen means life is suddenly a lot more complicated. Here are Top 10 tips on how to support your teen that hates school:
In my work as a Teen Therapist, I often find myself supporting teens in the exact way I would have needed support when I was going through my difficulties as a teenager. But, unfortunately, it is becoming more difficult for the younger generation to cope at school, causing them to feel anxious. Getting support from friends is just not enough sometimes.
There are many things teens face that can cause them to feel unhappy. School plays such a significant role in the lives of teens, and they spend most of their time at school away from home. As parents, we must do whatever we can to support our children and educate ourselves to do this well.
What are the most common that your child is unhappy in school?
There are obvious signs that your child might be unhappy and not coping at school. A few of the signs you can look out for are falling behind on their school work, misbehaving at school and at home, being withdrawn and low mood, refusing to go to school, wanting to change schools and sleep disturbances.
Top 10 Tips to support your child with school.
- Be a good listener. Try and understand how your child is feeling by asking questions without interrupting.
- Set up a meeting with the school and raise your concerns with your child present in the forum.
- Don’t ignore your child’s behaviour and concerns; if you create a safe environment where they can come to you about their worries, your child will feel supported and heard when you listen and believe them.
- If your child is misbehaving at school, explain your family values and boundaries are applicable at school too.
- If your child seems emotionally reactive, allow them the space to offload, you don’t always have to talk. Sitting with them in silence can also offer them comfort.
- Share the realities of your school years, and avoid saying things like ” it is nothing compared to when I was young” Validate their anxieties and stress.
- Set a schedule to support them with timekeeping to avoid getting overwhelmed and falling behind.
- If you notice your child is avoiding going out with friends and worries that someone might see them outside of school, they could be experiencing bullying at school. Be open and ask your child if this might be the case. Do not ignore bullying behaviour. Contact the school immediately and keep a written record of all correspondence. Follow up with the school and ensure that safeguarding is in place to protect your child.
- Be careful not to put too much pressure on your child to achieve high scores. Instead, remind your child of their valuable qualities, tell them often they are loved and that you accept their flaws. Find them help if needed.
- For sleep disturbances:
- Try natural remedies ( Inner Calm – Ashwagandha Tea, Rescue remedy, Night time tea – Pukka)
- Avoid screen time 1 hour before bedtime.
- Sit with your child and talk before bedtime.
- Sleep meditation (Calm App)
- Avoid Sugar.
Educating your child is the foundation of their future. However, it can have a life-changing impact on their life if this phase is an unhappy time with them constantly feeling rejected, not good enough, and lonely. As a parent, we should remind our children daily that we are their safety net. They always have a place to come to, no matter how tough life gets. We will welcome them home with open arms.
If your child is showing signs that they are unhappy at school and you are finding it difficult to support them on your own, please get in touch, I would love to help you. You can book a call.
“Education is the great engine of personal development. Through education, the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, and the child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.” — Nelson Mandela