Worrying Moments In Parenting: Fixing Your Child’s Attitude Problem At School


Worrying Moments In Parenting: Fixing Your Child's Attitude Problem At School

By Donovan Grant

Where do children go when then they feel put down? They head into the shell of dislike and self doubt.

Back in September my 9 year son Emmanuel faced a changing moment, he had to have a new teacher for his class. He’d had new teachers before but this time was quite a blow…

Emmanuel had fantastic previous year, he was increasing his confidence in maths, English and the sciences and his true unique personality was starting to shine in a big way! Plus he shared a sense of humour with his then teacher, Mr Power!

But there's a side to this story that shows up for many students that we need to talk about…. and that is how relationships affect your child’s education.

As someone who has schooled with some good and not so good teachers, raised two wonderful young adult daughters through trying times and has worked as a coach for many young people trying to cope with growing up …. I know FIRST HAND how the "teacher doesn’t like me syndrome" can make a student feel not good enough when they know they are better.

My belief is that it is important to teach our children how to build relationships with others… family, friends and even teachers… but in testing times, as a parent you may take the stance “the teacher doesn’t know my child, so I have to show him!”

Yes, I am a serious dad when it comes to my child’s education, and for good reason! I CARE about THEM! I’m sure you care about your children too.

My children will tell you that I’m not the sort of dad interested in young people getting the top grades in school at the risk of not developing their people skills, confidence and self-image. NO THANK YOU!

I’ve had to disagree with some parents because they thought that drilling their kids to the limit is the only way to them back on track. This is a tough thing to say but when you force a child to attend extra academic lessons and do more drills even if it means missing out on seeing their friends and having fun this can backfire. And when your child complains you may push them even harder.

Can I just share a thought with you “stop and think!”

This may not be a popular comment, but why is the child not learning enough at school already? Could it be because of a bad seed the teacher has planted in their mind?

My son Emmanuel had a tough time settling in with his new teacher. When we got his first school report, it wasn’t great listening… “Emmanuel has an attitude problem. He does not concentrate in class and his written work is untidy.” We were blown away because this did not reflect the boy that we see at home every day.

When we asked him, he was not happy “Mr Smith does not like me and he always picks other people to answer questions first and I don’t like him!”

Now I know our son is a strong willed young lad, but I’d never seen him like this before. Jen and I have just kept reinforcing with Emmanuel that he is a very able lad and maybe Mr Smith was just getting use to working with his new class of children.

Over the past couple of months Emmanuel has improved his all round performance a lot; including his attitude.

We visited his school this week to get an update from his teacher and it went something like this… “Emmanuel is doing really well and he just needs to remember to read through his work after finishing to spot any mistakes. His attitude is great and I realise now that he’s got quite a quirky sense of humour.”

Jen and I exchanged glances. Without Mr Smith making an apology, we realised that this was his way of saying “I misunderstood what Emmanuel is really like.”

Emmanuel knew this too. Children are very intuitive.

So rather than getting extra tuition, what was needed here was for the teacher and the student to build a working relationship.

The thought crossed my mind, how many children get labelled as disruptive, hard to engage or attitude problem just because the teacher has failed to understand who they really are? This is a worrying thought.

As a parent of three children and a coach for many I want to encourage you to help a child to learn the skills essential for life. The development of the child is not just about maths and English. People skills will ultimately make the biggest difference in their future success.

Don’t wait for a bad report from the teacher. Start today. Start now.

Let’s raise our children for success from the inside out.


Post a comment below! What are some of the ways that you help your child develop in all areas of life? Post below and let me know!


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