What To Do If Your Child Dislikes Their Teacher

Sep 29, 2021 | Brea

We've all been there. Your student comes home from school, flings their backpack on the ground, and dramatically flops onto the couch...... (wait for it) ..... then loudly announces, "My teacher is the worst!!!"

As a parent, this can be a real tricky situation. Before taking sides and jumping to conclusions, let's make sure we have all the information. Pediatric Psychologist, Vanessa Jensen, recommends listening to your child first. She says:

"I think the first thing to do is just listen. Let the child talk on, let the child tell their story without judgment. Just let them get it on the table- with a lot of neutral comments like 'uh-huh' or 'hmm' or ask a neutral question like 'What happened then?'. The thing you don't want to do is say 'Oh, he is so mean!' or 'How could he say that to you?' 

Sometimes, like adults, kids just need to whine and complain and know that you care enough to listen." (Read more here)

A recent article from Today's Parent, suggests responding like this: 

1. Let your child talk it out. Be a patient listener. 

2. Don't get angry. Reacting in anger usually heightens the situation anyway. Keep an open mind and try to remember that there are two sides to every story.

3. Talk to the teacher. Children need help navigating student-teacher relationships. 

4. Keep your child in the loop. "When possible, include your child in discussions with the teacher,” suggests parenting expert Ann Douglas. Not only does this strategy give you the opportunity to see their interactions first-hand, it also shows your child that you’re not talking about her behind her back. Kids are with their teachers for six hours a day, 10 months of the year — a strained relationship can be brutal if you don’t step in to help.

5. And lastly, don't hesitate to tell your child about your own experiences at school. Did you have a teacher that you disliked? What did you do about it? Knowing their parent has lived through the same experience can really help a child when they're struggling.