The daily lives of our kids are directly connected to school. In fact their identities are formed as students at an early age. It is only natural that as parents we strive to give our children positive experiences and teach them how to not hate school. As our children grow in school and social structures begin to form, many kids begin to say that “I hate school so much.” This can occur for many reasons, some including bullying and poorly equipped schools that do not know how to identify and handle learning disabilities.
When parents grapple with the question, why do kids hate school, it is important that parents recognize the power of the educational experience. This is where the majority of the waking hours are spent for that child being exposed to new ideas and tasks as well as a social environment in which each child learns their place. The pressure of fitting into a social structure can cause a lot of anxiety for some kids as they leave elementary school, which is why many middle school kids are heard saying, “I hate middle school” or “I hate going to school.” Middle school is the age in which majority of children become self conscious of how they do not meet expectations. This is around the same time bullying is more active and sticks in the heads of victims. Also, as kids get older they might say “I hate high school” and many children even hear their parents saying “personally I hated high school.”
A school bully finds ammunition for attacks in the perceived weaker children – the easier targets. This can be numerous areas in a child’s life that are developing and cause those kids to express that “I hate my high school.” For example, stuttering speech, irregular growth (large or small), too smart, too low, recent immigrant, social awkward, unattractive, physical disability, these are just a few attributes of an individual at school that a bully might target. Obviously, each can be overcome and do not hinder a fulfilling life; however, in school the stress related to juggling these type of issues can cause a child to verbalize, “I Hate School.” That being said, these types of I hate school quotes are tough to hear as parents.
A learning disability is another common reason kids will say “I hate my school.” A child that is constantly frustrated by school because processes that their classmates find simple are too challenging for them will undoubtably hate school. These kids are not only frustrated at their own inability but also at the stigma that goes along with not being able to fit into the rest of the class. It is imperative that learning disabilities are identified early and the right educational environment can be offered to the child. A learning disability should not be a reason to hate school, but rather spark to challenge educators to reach a child’s needs.
Many parents say, “my child hates school because he has no friends” and want to be able to answer their kids if they ask “why do I hate school?” It is true that having good friends is important to social development as well as the enjoyment of school. Kids that have friends at school, look forward to going to class and interacting with their friends. They may not like math, science, or history class but they love school because of their friends. Teaching kids the importance and value of friends at a young age is essential to their social skills throughout their life. Obviously, changes can occur and one child might develop differently even if given every opportunity to excel socially. The goal is to demonstrate the benefits of interpersonal skills so a feeling of belonging is fostered.
Economic status can also create a negative feeling towards attending school. Today, more than ever, kids are in a social environment in which they are judged by the devices they have, clothes they wear, and cars they drive. This is not the sole answer to why kids hate school, but it provides insight into the messages sent to the younger generation. If so much of what we do is measured by material gains, our children will not have a good self image if that’s their measure and they cannot live up to those standards. Parents, regardless of economic status, should aim to instill values not weighed by material success but rather focus on character, education, and responsibility. This will work towards an environment in which a child without the latest iPhone, a used car, and last year’s sneakers will not say they hate high school because of poor self worth.
Creative kids might turn out to hate school because they just do not get the stimulation they crave. These children might perform fine on exams and have many friends; however, they need the activities offered in an art and music class to keep their brains feeling great. Many schools have cut out art and music programming from their programs, do to budget, and the administration does not recognize the potential detriment. In order to change these kids from saying, I fucking hate school to loving each day, they must be presents with creative challenges to keep their individual spark alive. Many parents opt to enroll their kids in extracurricular activities in either art or music, but that does not replace the existence of a lacking approach during school.
A growing trend among student that all hate school is that they do not see the value in what they are learning and how it translates into the real world. These students are typically very smart and ambitious, they just do not enjoy spending a chunk of their day wasting it on learning things that they do not see as important. It is not that they hate school inherently, it is the double standard that drives them mad and to say, I really Hate school. They believe that school is meant to teach important lessons and skills to be able to function in the world. This is true; however, when certain courses stress fundamentals and memorization of laundry lists of items these children do not see that this is inline with preparing them for the real world. Instead of schools addressing these concerns openly, any questions about course material is often met with stern reverence for the school decisions.
Respect is an important lesson, but must be balanced as not to make students feel they go to school in a dictatorship country. The feelings of hating school are not healthy to the development of children and each situation should be understood so attempts to correct can be strategically implemented. Parents do not like the fact that some kids hate school, but it is a fact that is likely not going to change. When parents can recognize why kids hate school and address the problem it will move in the direction to help that child transform their statement, “I hate school” to saying “School is great!” When a particular concern is addressed regarding one child and the parents get involved, this will also create a positive environment for other children. Also, the school will begin to implement policies and procedures to address the needs of other children in the future. As a parent it is clear that your child’s needs should come first, but it is nice to know that the actions you take today can also help others in the future.