We like to think that all teachers are great but like most things in life, not all are created equally. Even if your child as an excellent teacher, their personalities may clash. As parents, we understand this is a part of life but there has to be a boundary. Your child doesn’t have to like their teacher and vice versa but the line is drawn when it affects their learning. Here are some things you can do when your child dislikes their teacher.
Find out why your child dislikes their teacher
There are many situations where a teacher could very well be out of line. Even if they have reason to dislike your child, they don’t have reason to pick on them. So, start by learning why your child dislikes their teacher. It might be something silly like ‘they smell’ (children are great, aren’t they?) or it might be more serious. Your child could be getting singled out or picked on, and even if there’s a reason, this is something you should be aware of.
Explain the reasoning behind a teacher’s actions
If the teacher’s actions are explainable, it’s important to address this with your child and not necessarily the teacher. As parents, we often rise to the front lines when it comes to our children but this isn’t always the best case scenario. For example, if your child says the teachers mean to them or makes them do work or took away their recess, this serves as the perfect opportunity to teach your child a strong life lesson – there are consequences to your actions. Explain to your child why the teacher is mean or why they lost their recess privileges. You aren’t necessarily taking the defense of the teacher but rather, teaching your child to respect authority without question.
Challenge their negative thinking
An excellent way to change your child’s thought process is to challenge them. For every negative comment your child makes about their teacher, ask them what they do like. This can take a big of pushing, depending on how defiant your child is, but keep pushing. Getting them to acknowledge the things they do like may be all you need to iron out the wrinkles in their relationship with their teacher.
Encourage positive interpretation
If your child is consistently coming home with comments such as, “The teacher doesn’t like me,” or “The teacher says I’m too loud,” or “Out of control,” try to combat the issue by encouraging positive interpretation. This can be an excellent time to teach your child that some people just don’t get along and it’s up to them to choose how it affects them. Teach them to say, “My teacher and I don’t always get along” instead of “My teacher doesn’t like me”. These simple changes will play a huge role in your child’s confidence, which in turn will improve their behavior, and potentially improve their relationship with the teacher.
Speak with the teacher
Children can dislike their teacher all they want but if there’s a deeper meaning behind it, it’s your job to figure it out. Once you’ve addressed the situation with your child, and they still come back telling you things you’re not too fond of, it’s time to take actions in your own hands. In no way should you go to the school raising hell, which as parents, can often be our initial reaction. However, it won’t be beneficial for your relationship with the school or your child’s relationship with their teacher.
So, arrange a time to speak with the teacher and the principal. It might seem like a good idea to leave your child out of the meeting but bringing them presents them with the opportunity to defend themselves if need be. It also ensures they hear the teacher’s side of the story. Perspective is powerful.
Now, if you have reason to believe that your child is being ostracized and potentially bullied after you’ve taken these steps, speak with the principal alone. Start writing down the times, dates and details of your child’s complaint so you can seek help from a higher source if need be. However, chances are, your child is simply being nothing more than a child.