My child keeps saying she doesn’t like her teacher. She can’t change teachers, but I also don’t want her to be miserable all year. How do I help her feel better about her teacher?
Dr. Katie Godfrey, licensed marriage and family therapist, The Catalyst Center, LLC
Start by asking questions to find out why your child does not like her teacher. Does she find the teacher to be too strict or too lenient? Is it because her friends don’t like the teacher? Is it because your child’s new teacher is of a different gender, race, or ethnicity than the previous teacher? This transition can be new and challenging for some children and they may have a variety of reasons for feeling the way they do. Gathering this information can help you problem-solve with your child.
Encourage your child to find things they like about the teacher. Maybe the teacher tells good jokes or brought in a class pet. This information creates openings for your child to grow to tolerate or maybe even like her new teacher.
It could be that your child has something she needs to discuss with the teacher. If your child is older, encourage them to do so. For younger children, offer to schedule a meeting to go together.
Find out if there are other teachers or staff your child does like. Having one likable adult at school can be quite helpful and give the child someone to look forward to seeing, even if that person isn’t actually a teacher.
Overall, know that it can actually be helpful to have a teacher your child is not wild about. We all have to learn how to deal with different people, so this opportunity may actually benefit your child in the long run. However, if it is something more serious or you are worried about your child’s safety, schedule a meeting with the principal.