Q: Every morning my seven-year-old daughter cries and says that she hates school. What can we do?
A: Most importantly, let your daughter’s teacher know that she is having this reaction every morning, and see if he can shed some light on the problem. For example, does your daughter get along with her peers and does she have friends at school? If not, this could be the main reason she “hates” school. To foster development of friendships, her teacher can pair her with other children to work or play together. Also, consider arranging playdates. Make sure you explore the possibility that your daughter is being bullied.
Also, ask her teacher if your daughter is having difficulty with school work. Some children who dislike school have an undiagnosed learning disability. In that case, you will need to understand and address it. Of course, the opposite may be true; your daughter may be bored because the work is too easy.
Also, ask yourself if there is something going on at home or in your extended family that your daughter could be worried about. Sometimes children’s worries about a family member are expressed through a reluctance to separate from parents and go to school. If this is the case, reassure her that the adults in her life are handling the adult problems.