Your child hates his teacher: What to do

By Dr Richard C. Woolfson   — October 11, 2018
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    It is important to know why your child hates his teacher. For one, he could be anxious about change – getting a new teacher upsets his comfort zone. Here’s what you can do.

    Related: 10 things Singapore teachers wished parents knew about their kids

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  • Listen calmly
    2 / 10 Listen calmly

    Hear what your kid has to say without passing comment. Ask him to tell you why he feels this way towards her – and be prepared for his explanation. 

    His reasons can range from the trivial (“She wears awful clothes”) and temporary (“She made us tidy the whole room because we made a mess”) to serious (“I don’t like her because she is horrible to me and doesn’t like me”).

    Related: What to do if your child dislikes his teacher

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  • Be reassuring
    3 / 10 Be reassuring

    If you think his complaint is based on a trivial reason – for example, it’s a one-off incident that he was ticked off for – explain that this doesn’t really matter and that he should stop focusing on it.  

    Remind him that part of a teacher’s job is to keep control and that if he doesn’t want further reprimands, he should follow the preschool rules.

    Related: Is my child’s teacher doing a good job?

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  • Find out if it's a deeper problem
    4 / 10 Find out if it's a deeper problem

    It’s far more serious, however, if your child says: “I don’t like her because I don’t get along with her.” His reaction could be due to several reasons.  


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  • 5 / 10

    1 Problems with friends 

    If he has few or no friends (and has a miserable time in the playground), he may redirect this unhappiness towards his teacher.

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  • 6 / 10

    2 He misbehaved 

    His teacher might have threatened to contact his parents because of this and he “counter-complains” about her first.

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  • 7 / 10

    3 Clash of personalities 

    The reality is that not every single teacher likes every pupil. She might prefer others in his group.

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  • 8 / 10

    4 The teacher is unpleasant 

    Some teachers find the job stressful, shout at the children a lot and generally create a tense environment at the preschool.

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  • Meet the teacher
    9 / 10 Meet the teacher

     Ask to meet her, but be tactful about it. Don’t tell her exactly what your child said about her. Instead, explain that he seems unhappy in school and that you want to help him become more settled. 

    Ask if she is aware of your child’s distress and if she can think of any reason why he should have a negative attitude towards her. The teacher might reveal information that you were totally unaware of, and vice versa.

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  • 10 / 10

    Whatever emerges from your discussion, your child can only benefit by having his parents and teacher be aware of his discomfort.

    After this, have another conversation with your child by telling him you are sure he’ll soon grow to like her, but that he has to make an extra effort, too. And then, keep a close watch on how the situation progresses over the next few weeks.


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