What to do if your Child Hates School?

It is upsetting for any parent to find out that their child is unhappy at school. Some of the most common reasons children may feel they ‘hate’ school are feelings of anxiety, learning difficulties and bullying. The start of a new term can also cause children to feel emotional and reluctant to get back into a school routine.

What to do if your Child Hates School? 1
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

If your child doesn’t want to go to school and have noticed regular excuses, then it is time to investigate further. There could be an issue at school that requires your attention.

Here are some great tips from a preparatory school in London to help your child develop a more positive attitude towards school…

Talk to your child

Trust your instincts! If your child seems unhappy about going to school, the most important thing you can do is discuss their feelings. This could take time, so be patient and reassuring. Let your child know that whatever the issue is, you will help to make things better.

Encourage an early bedtime

To make mornings feel less stressful, it is a good idea to encourage earlier bedtimes and prepare school uniform and equipment each evening. Having a good night’s sleep can also improve your child’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Have fun after school

Children often have so much fun over the holidays that they feel sad when it comes to an end. To combat the ‘back to school blues,’ it is important to keep up some of those fun activities after school. When kids see that school doesn’t necessarily mean giving up on the fun, they’re less likely to have negative feelings about it.

Make a study space

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Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

To get your child excited about school and to encourage a positive attitude towards learning, you could set up a special study space at home. To make their new space feel extra special, you could let them choose how it is decorated and add some of their favourite stationery supplies.

Home comforts

If you think your child is suffering from separation anxiety, allow them to take a small object in their school bag that acts as a comforter. This could be something like a small toy or family photo. You could also surprise your child with a secret note in their lunch box with words of encouragement.

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18 Comments

  • Lyndsey OHalloran

    March 29 at 10:04 am

    I feel so lucky that Erin absolutely loves school. It must be so hard if your child doesn’t like school. Really helpful post.

    1. Sabina Green

      March 31 at 11:07 am

      We have been through moments with two of ours and it wasn’t easy but thankfully they are happier now.

  • Talya Stone

    March 29 at 12:41 pm

    I have so many people saying their child hates school or going to school especially after homeschooling. Some really useful tips above for those struggling with this.

    1. Sabina Green

      March 31 at 11:08 am

      My youngest struggled going back to school initially as he really liked homeschool but he has finally started to settle down. It certainly wasn’t easy x

  • Claire Lomax

    March 29 at 5:09 pm

    It is heartbreaking to hear your child say this. My 13 year old has struggled to adjust to being back at school so I have heard these words a few times sadly.

    This is great advice. I am definitely going to try to make the evenings more fun x

    1. Sabina Green

      March 31 at 11:17 am

      I have had it with two of mine and it is so hard to hear. It has taken a lot of work but finally, they both seem much happier. I hope your 13-year-old feels better about school soon because I know how much it plays on your mind xx

  • Kara Guppy

    March 29 at 6:25 pm

    Isaac has had a bit of a wobble since going back and says his teachers are not nice anymore, but we sat and had a chat and I think things are going back to normal now

    1. Sabina Green

      March 31 at 11:19 am

      I think so many children are finding it harder to get back into school after so much time at homeschool. It has been such an unsettled year for them x

  • Pati Robins

    March 30 at 5:05 am

    good idea , mine realised that she prefers home schooling a shes more efficient than when shes at school and she is not wasting hours that she would spent in school – and this is a very tricky thing for us as in a way shes got a good point

    1. Sabina Green

      March 31 at 11:24 am

      That is pretty much what my daughter said too, she only really wants school for the social side.

  • Sarah-Marie Collins

    March 30 at 8:46 am

    I couldn’t agree more about the importance of a good night’s sleep. I can always tell when my eldest has stayed up reading late rather than going to sleep.When you feel tired, problems are always exacerbated.

    1. Sabina Green

      March 31 at 11:24 am

      Oh yes, we know that one very well. I know that my head isn’t in the right space when I haven’t had enough sleep.

  • Mudpie Fridays

    March 31 at 7:39 am

    We are so lucky because at the moment both boys loves school. But I am aware of how quickly that can change and as we head towards to the teenage years when things can get a little rocky with friendships etc I am worried this may change. Thanks for these useful tips

    1. Sabina Green

      March 31 at 11:27 am

      Yes, friendships really can affect happiness so quickly at school. I hope your boys continue to be happy xx

  • Natasha Mairs

    April 1 at 10:51 am

    I used to hate school and I suffered from really bad anxiety. I am so glad my kids are ok with school and my daughter loves it. But these are some really useful tips

    1. Sabina Green

      April 7 at 9:38 pm

      I am so sorry to hear that, school is such a large part of life. I’m pleased your children are happy.

  • Laura Schwormstedt

    April 5 at 1:43 am

    These are some really good tips on opening up communication and hopefully reassuring and supporting a child at school, thanks for sharing

    Laura x

    1. Sabina Green

      April 7 at 9:54 pm

      You’re welcome, I hope that it will help some families who are finding things difficult x

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