School may seem like the center of your child's universe. It can be a source of achievement, self-esteem, friendship and fun, or it can be pure misery. Sometimes it is all of those things on the same day. A number of things can cause problems in your child's school world:
- Family problems may temporarily affect schoolwork.
- Physical changes also can affect schoolwork.
- A sudden, extreme change could be a warning of drug or alcohol use.
- Parents who expect too much can put excessive pressure on a child. For example:
- Parents need to adjust standards as a child grows older (a child who is ranked first in grade school may be 20th in a larger middle or high school).
- Parents should be able to accept the fact that a child may have to repeat a course.
- Parents should be sure they are responding to what is good for the child, not what makes them feel good as parents.
Tips for working out school solutions
- Work with the school, taking advantage of the staff 's expertise, but do not expect educators to solve your child's problems.
- School psychologists are a good place to start. They generally are willing and able to help.
- Do not be afraid to seek other outside help. Some school psychologists are only trained in psychological testing, not in therapy.
- A psychologist can give an assessment of emotional factors.
- Independent academic testing can give a picture of progress and/or problems in schoolwork.
In the end, most children are average students. The goal of the school and the student should be the same: to build the foundation for a fulfilling, productive adult life.