School related issues in younger children can be an impediment to learning, socializing and can be highly concerning to caregivers and teachers. Issues relating to school can be varied, as children’s skill levels, maturity, temperament, developmental level and relationship with adults varies.
Some school related issues can include:
- Behaviour problems: acting out, chronic lateness, anxiety, truancy, risk-taking, hyperactivity, disruptive behaviour, teacher-student relations, impulse problems
- Academic problems: poor study habits, dropping grades, struggling to keep up, attention deficits, learning disabilities
- Social problems: social anxiety, withdrawal, bullying, social awkwardness
- Emotional problems: anxiety, depression, substance abuse
- Medical problems: lack of sleep, poor diet, vision/hearing problems, ill-health
The best way to deal with school-related issues is to talk to your child and to their teacher. Find out what the exact issue is and address it in an open, calm and caring way. Often creating a supportive structure around the child can help with many issues. Sometimes the supportive structure can involve counselling, other times it involves tutoring, organizing and scheduling time, changing home dynamics, or seeking medical advice.
The first step to helping a child become successful at school is for caregivers to get support. Caregivers must have knowledge and strategies for dealing with difficult challenges. Once caregivers have information and support, a plan can be enacted.
Megan Hughes has worked as a counsellor with high-risk and behavioural elementary and secondary aged student in the Vancouver school system for 15 years. She has experience identifying issues that present as obstacles to learning, socializing and functioning in school.