When to rec­og­nize it just isn’t work­ing out

A guide to iden­ti­fy­ing the signs in­di­cat­ing a new ap­proach might be ben­e­fi­cial for your child

The Kids Post - - School Feature - by Sara Dimer­man

At­tend­ing school for most of one’s child­hood is not a choice. How­ever, which school your child is go­ing to at­tend is and many fam­i­lies like the idea of choos­ing what works best for them and their chil­dren.

Here are some of the signs or in­di­ca­tors to watch for that may point you in the di­rec­tion of ex­plor­ing op­tions that may be more in line with your fam­ily’s needs:

“The teach­ers don’t re­ally know my child.”

If you’ve sat in on a par­ent teacher in­ter­view and won­dered whether the teacher has your child con­fused with an­other stu­dent, you may ques­tion whether your child is ei­ther ex­tremely dif­fer­ent in the class­room com­pared to home, or whether there may be too many chil­dren in the class­room for the teacher to re­ally get to know any of them well. If you’re con­cerned that your child is get­ting lost in the crowd, then look­ing for an en­vi­ron­ment with fewer kids per class may be a good op­tion.

“My child doesn’t feel like he fits in.”

There are many stu­dents who at times don’t feel that they are in­cluded or fit with their peers. Some­times the dy­nam­ics in a par­tic­u­lar class­room don’t work so well. How­ever, if this is a re­cur­rent theme and you know that your child may be a lit­tle “dif­fer­ent,” you may find that an­other en­vi­ron­ment with like-minded chil­dren (for ex­am­ple a school for gifted kids if this is what makes him stand out) may help him feel a greater sense of be­long­ing.

If your child tends to be bul­lied or os­tra­cized by his peer group, you may also want to con­sider hav­ing her talk to a ther­a­pist who can help her de­velop in­creased self con­fi­dence and as­sertive­ness skills.

Some chil­dren also ben­e­fit from so­cial skills groups where they are helped to de­velop more ef­fec­tive in­ter­per­sonal skills.

“My sug­ges­tions on how things can be im­proved fall on deaf ears.”

One of the ben­e­fits of hav­ing your child at­tend a pri­vate school, for ex­am­ple, may be that you have more say. Let’s face it, you’re a pay­ing cus­tomer. So, al­though there’s no guar­an­tee that your ideas will be im­ple­mented, you may feel a greater sense of val­i­da­tion.

“My child doesn’t learn like all the other kids.”

If a for­mal aca­demic as­sess­ment, teach­ers or school ad­min­is­tra­tors at your child’s cur­rent school have iden­ti­fied him as hav­ing spe­cial needs, learn­ing at a dif­fer­ent pace or in a dif­fer­ent way, or made men­tion that he is lack­ing in mo­ti­va­tion, and they have been un­able to make any head­way in help­ing your child be­come more suc­cess­ful then it’s time to ex­plore op­tions. Things to con­sider in­clude more one- on- one at­ten­tion, more in­di­vid­u­al­ized teach­ing as with pri­vate tu­tor­ing, or ex­tra help re­gard­ing de­vel­op­ing more mo­ti­va­tion, might be a good op­tion.

“My child is be­ing pe­nal­ized for tak­ing time away from school to par­tic­i­pate in ath­letic com­pe­ti­tions.”

If your child has a par­tic­u­lar pas­sion re­lated to ath­let­ics or the arts, there are a num­ber of schools — both pri­vate and pub­lic, that tailor their cur­ricu­lum to­wards pro­mot­ing and ac­com­mo­dat­ing for this. Some in­cor­po­rate the arts or sports into their pro­gram­ming and oth­ers even col­lab­o­rate with stu­dents who are re­quired to take time away from the con­ven­tional school day in or­der to prac­tise or com­pete.

“I don’t have time to take my child to ex­tracur­ric­u­lars af­ter school but want to ex­pose her to dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties.”

If you’re work­ing long hours and feel like you barely have time to breathe at the end of your day, you may feel guilty at not be­ing able to ex­pose your child to a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties, es­pe­cially if she hasn’t yet found a pas­sion.

Rest as­sured that there are schools that of­fer a broad ar­ray of ac­tiv­i­ties, right on their prop­erty, so that stu­dents can stay at school af­ter their aca­demic day and par­tic­i­pate. This not only al­lows them ex­po­sure but is of­ten a great help to par­ents who work long work days and are look­ing for pro­grams, other than the con­ven­tional af­ter school child care pro­gram, that will not only en­rich their chil­dren’s lives, but also give a par­ent peace of mind that their chil­dren are be­ing pro­duc­tive and en­gaged af­ter con­ven­tional school hours.

“I hate that ev­ery day is like a fash­ion pa­rade at school and that my child is al­ways want­ing to buy the lat­est and great­est.”

One way to over­come this is to ex­plore aca­demic en­vi­ron­ments that in­sist on a school uni­form and dress code.

Keep in mind, how­ever, that if it’s the cost of the lat­est fash­ion that has you most up­set, then at­tend­ing a pri­vate school with a dress code may cost more money in the long run than keep­ing up with fash­ion trends. If, how­ever, it’s more about not want­ing to deal with the “what should I wear to­day?” rou­tine or if you’re con­cerned about your child need­ing to wear cer­tain cloth­ing in or­der to fit in, school uni­forms may ease your con­cerns. Sara Dimer­man is a psy­chol­o­gist with a spe­cial in­ter­est in par­ent­ing, and an au­thor of four books ( two for par­ents). Find her on­line at www.helpme­sara.com.

If your child feels like she doesn’t fit in, con­sider send­ing her to a school with like-minded kids

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.