“Do I have to go to school?!” is standard comic-strip fodder, but it’s no joke to the parent trying to get two surly kids out of bed, or for the teacher facing a roomful of clock-watchers. And it doesn’t help to tell them about thousands of illiterate kids who would welcome the opportunity for an education. Get to the root of the problem instead:
“I can’t stand getting up that early.”
Often this is a legitimate gripe. Sleep deprivation on school days is a common problem, especially for adolescents who often function better with later bedtime and getting-up hours. Unless you’re willing to homeschool, though, you’re probably stuck with a schedule geared toward the convenience of working adults: so here are a few ideas for reducing the “I’m still tired” problem:
"I’d rather play than sit in a classroom.”
The key word is “sit”—too many schools are so busy trying to cram information into kids’ heads, they practically tie everyone to desks for hours. If you’re a teacher, build active learning and exercise breaks into daily classroom routine. Parents can help by encouraging kids to play vigorously after school, rather than surfing the Internet or starting homework immediately.
“The teachers/other kids pick on me.”
Possible reasons include:
And never forget: ask the child herself why she dislikes school, and listen to her answer. Whether or not you can remedy the problem in the way she prefers, just feeling respected often generates confidence to deal with tough situations. And to become more optimistic about everything!