Worst-Case Scenarios: Classroom Edition

"I love school." Few phrases sound sweeter. Because when your child thrives in his educational setting, he tends to thrive outside it too. That's why initial signs of trouble (complaints about the teacher, behavior write-ups) can press your panic button. We'll help you handle the toughest start-of-school challenges.

Your Child Insists His Teacher Hates Him

Child with bullseye on chest

If class has been in session for a few days, put a watch on the comment and emphasize the positive. After school, ask, "What was the best thing about class today?" not "Did you like Ms. Gray more?" If the objections continue beyond Week 1, set up an appointment with the teacher to discuss your child's concerns, says Sara Leef, an elementary-school counselor in Brookline, Massachusetts. Yes, this can be a hard topic to broach with an educator because it feels so personal, but left unaddressed, "these feelings tend to grow into bigger issues, which can be harder to resolve down the line," Leef explains. Before you meet, casually prepare a couple of examples from your child that illustrate why he feels she is singling him out. And try to keep your cool as you enter the classroom, so you can focus on how you can work as a team. You might start the conversation by saying, "For some reason, my child feels you don't like him. I'm sure that by sitting down to talk right now, we can resolve this."

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