Is your child happy at school?
Steps you can take to ensure a positive school experience.
The hours spent at school are some of the most formative hours of a child’s life. It is important for teachers and parents to make sure that the experiences are generally good and constructive, particularly during the child’s early years. Not all days are the same, and bad days are inevitable parts of school life; however, if poor quality of school life extends beyond just a few occasional bad day–and you notice something is wrong–it is important to find out what the problem is and act on it as soon as possible.
Determining what is wrong can be the difficult part though, because children can often be non-communicative under stress, especially when they are young. Nevertheless, with careful attention and knowing what to look for, you should be able to detect if your child is having trouble at school.
Opting to volunteer at your son’s/daughter’s class every once in a while lets you keep a close eye on what’s going on there. You will be able to get a feel of how the teachers are handling the classes and how your child is interacting with others in the group. Do not interfere unless necessary because you will be able to observe the actual situation only if you are observing for the time being.
Communication with your child and his/her teachers is important here. In fact, it’s the key to knowing if anything is bothering your son or daughter. While teachers are generally much easier to communicate with, young children are not. Instead of directly asking about complicated concepts like happiness and sadness, ask them specific questions about parts of their day. Take a look at the following set of questions which can be effective in detecting school related problems:
- How was your day at school?
- Did you have fun?
- What did you do in class today?
- Who is your best friend?
- Who is your favorite teacher?
- Do you like your teachers?
- Do you like your friends/classmates?
Symptoms of anxiety in children in response to these questions indicate that they may not be happy and something is indeed bothering them.
Observe Changes in Behavior
These changes can vary from child to child, and they can even be very subtle, but if a child is unhappy there will most definitely be changes. Behavioral changes will particularly manifest themselves prior to school time each day. Such pre-school time behaviors may include the following:
- Frequent diarrhea and tummy aches
- Frequent tantrums
School for young children is more about having fun and enjoying themselves in a social environment than academic education. It is during this time that a child learns to react in different social scenarios and his/her experiences here play a big role in determining what kind of a school life the child will have in the future, as well. As parents, it’s our duty and responsibility to make sure that they are happy at school or to make the necessary changes to ensure a good school experience.