8 reasons why your child suddenly hates school

By Dr Richard C. Woolfson   — May 13, 2019
  • 1 / 10

    If you child suddenly hates school, know that there are many causes. Perhaps she is tired, wishes to avoid a particular lesson, or would rather stay at home to watch television – that’s normal.

    Related: 8 school problems you should never ignore

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  • 2 / 10

    Here are some common explanations for her unhappiness:
     – Falling out with her best friend there
     – Difficulty keeping up with the games and on the equipment
     – Lack of self-confidence
     – Being teased about her appearance
     – Problems making new pals
     – Dislike of the staff
     – Fear of using unfamiliar toilets
     – Unappetising snacks and lunches

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  • 3 / 10

    However, if she repeatedly attempts to avoid going to school, it’s reasonable to treat this strong reluctance as a serious matter. If your child is upset whenever preschool looms, consider the following suggestions.

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  • Ask her if there is anything upsetting her
    4 / 10 Ask her if there is anything upsetting her

    Chat with her about the key areas of her preschool life, such as her friends, the games, the outdoor activities, the snacks and lunches, the toilets and the preschool staff.

    Related: 10 signs that your child is being bullied

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  • Talk to her teacher 
    5 / 10 Talk to her teacher 

    Your child’s class teacher is the best source of information regarding her progress in preschool. Make a special appointment to speak to the teacher, then explain your concerns to her and listen to her observations.

    Related: Your child hates his teacher: What to do

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  • Make changes if necessary 
    6 / 10 Make changes if necessary 

    The problem may be solved quite easily. For instance, a change to another group within the class or additional help from her preschool teacher for a few days may be all your child needs to make her feel more settled.

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  • Ensure she attends preschool
    7 / 10 Ensure she attends preschool

    Whatever the problem, make sure your child goes to school regularly. Take her there even though she may be tearful, all the time reassuring her that she’ll be fine. Remain calm throughout.

    Related: Should you change preschools?

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  • Are there problems at home?
    8 / 10 Are there problems at home?

    This can be another factor causing your child unhappiness in preschool. If she feels insecure about her home life, she may unconsciously be afraid to go to preschool in case something happens while she is away.


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  • 9 / 10

    A young child can feel insecure about her home life for many reasons, such as if someone in the family is seriously ill, her parents fight a lot in front of her, there is a new baby in the family, or a close relative has died recently.

    Related: How to talk to your child about death: 6 steps to comfort and support him

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  • Sibling rivalry
    10 / 10 Sibling rivalry

    Although having an older brother in the same preschool can be reassuring initially, it may mean she will be judged against her sibling – and this can be intimidating.

    For example, if her older brother made very quick progress, then her performance may be compared to her sibling’s by the preschool staff and possibly even your relatives and friends.

    So, make a specific effort to avoid unproductive comparisons, and speak to the staff if you discover they are making such comparisons.

    (Photos: 123RF.com) 

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