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School children are faced with new challenges that they had nothing to do with during their kindergarten years. This makes it all the more difficult for parents to have the right word on their lips for every difficult situation.
This little guide is dedicated to school children and their parents. Using examples that occur again and again in school reality, it presents possible alternative courses of action.
School Belly Ache
Leon started school two weeks ago. For a few days now, he has always had a tummy ache when the morning farewell from his parents approaches. What’s going on?
If your child shows such behavior, you should definitely look behind the facade. First, of course, the crucial question is whether the child actually has organic complaints or something else is behind it.
A visit to the doctor provides certainty. If his or her diagnosis is “healthy as a horse”, then it’s time to dig deeper. It may be that the child really does have abdominal pain, even though his or her body is healthy. Psychosomatic complaints can also occur in children. They testify to the fact that the child’s psyche is under strain.
Our tips at this point.
First, of course, the obligatory question whether everything is fine at school and the child feels comfortable there.
Talk with the teacher: Did something happen? How does the child behave at school?
When pressed, the child may not tell you what is going on.
If you are too involved and affirm that you will march into school and do something, kids often suffer even more.
Show composure and explain to your child that you are concerned for his or her well-being.
Most of the time, kids with tummy ache are scared because they are slower than other kids or because they haven’t gotten used to the school routine yet. They then tense up and actually get tummy aches.
A Little Pasta Strainer
Tobias is in the second grade. Although the school year started a few months ago, he can’t remember the schedule. He also keeps forgetting how to do homework.
Elementary school children can be quite forgetful in the early years. For parents, it becomes frustrating over time when kids can’t remember how to do a homework assignment. Especially when the kids can’t read yet and a lot is communicated through pictures, parents don’t have a clue about the textbooks.
Close contact with other parents can be helpful. When in doubt, simply call another parent and ask.
It is easier for the child to remember the timetable if he or she thinks of mnemonic devices for it. For example, “Tuesdays are German”.
Designing an individual schedule together with animals and pictures also helps to remember it better. Take an hour to make a pretty timetable with the child.
I Can Do It All By Myself!
Leonie, 8 years old, really wants to go to school on her own. She doesn’t want to be taken to school anymore and insists that she is already grown up.
Basically, you shouldn’t slow kids down in situations like this. If a child is brave enough to go to school alone, that’s great and praiseworthy.
First, you should agree with the child to walk to school together a few more times. In doing so, pay special attention to traffic and the most difficult as well as dangerous places – unlike usual. Test whether your child knows how to behave when crossing the street. Also, he or she should be able to walk to school without having to ask other people for directions.
If it is necessary to use public transportation, the child must know exactly which train or bus or subway to take on demand to get to his or her destination.
Only when you are sure that your child knows how to navigate the streets should you let him or her go off on his or her own.
Do You Still Love Me?
In the next school year – she is now already 9 years old – Leonie becomes more and more sparing with her goodbye kisses. She says goodbye to her mother only fleetingly and, at least outside the school building, doesn’t seem to have much left for her.
This change in behavior is painful for parents. Admittedly, it does occur – as in Leonie’s case – with girls as well. But mostly it is the boys who suddenly find it uncool to exchange affectionate words with their parents in public. Even pet names suddenly get on their nerves.
This happens frequently, is completely normal and has nothing to do with the love of the child for his parent. This love is still present and at least as strong as before. With boys in particular, however, the close bond with the mother changes. This usually happens sometime between the ages of nine and ten.
By the way, the little ones still want to cuddle. But only at home and only when it’s convenient.
The book “Der Eltern Knigge” (Parents’ Etiquette) by Matthias Kalle also deals with topics such as embarrassing parents. This addresses itself with practical Tipps for the everyday life to parents of large and small Kids. It describes difficult situations from the point of view of worried and at the same time stressed parents and takes up everyday topics in a humorous manner. Valuable tips are interspersed with witty anecdotes.
Max and Leon are friends for life. While Max is soon to go to a secondary school, Leon has been advised to attend a grammar school. Nevertheless, Leon also wants to go to the Realschule so as not to be separated from Max.
The transition from elementary school to higher levels is a difficult time in the lives of school children. In the case described above, the child is faced with an extremely unpleasant decision.
Leon’s parents should make him realize that his friendship with Max will continue outside of school. After all, the two get along well not only because they went to the same class for years.
In any case, getting a good degree should be a priority. Leon may be reluctant to accept this at the beginning. But after a visit to the high school and discussions about the different branches of the school, Leon’s curiosity may prevail anyway. If your child is in a similar situation, try to find a school that caters to his talents and offers special courses in this direction. Then it will be all the easier for the child to choose the better degree.
School Children Can Be Cruel
Although he already goes to school on his own, Tobias is ostracized by his classmates. They call him a baby and tease him at every opportunity.
This is about bullying and teasing. In our part of the world, many kids of school age suffer from this. If a child is out of line in any way, he or she can be actively ostracized very quickly.
Children are very sensitive to the self-esteem of others. If someone behaves insecurely or clumsily, they quickly become a target.
As a parent, one should try to strengthen the child’s self-confidence. It should understand that it is still a great person – regardless of what others think. Consciously take the child’s side and ask him if he really needs to be friends with kids who behave this way. Instead, you could invite other kids home who appreciate the child and are less hostile.
Bullying should not be tolerated at all. It is the teacher’s job to stop teasing. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with discussing the issue directly with the teacher. He or she could hold a lesson dedicated to the topic of appreciation and respect. Elementary school children care a lot about their teacher’s opinion and often try to imitate the teacher’s behavior.
By the way, you can find a number of other articles on the topic of bullying on our website in language suitable for children. They are aimed at kids and young people of all ages and are suitable for both self-reading and reading aloud.
For elementary school children, there are numerous picture books that deal with the topics of respect, appreciation and bullying in a vivid way.
Book tip: “Jakob ruft Stopp! Leave me alone!” by Sandra Grimm, published by Carlsen Verlag.
Anna, 8 years old, is very ambitious. If she doesn’t get an A, she cries.
As kids progress through the grades, it gets harder and harder to maintain a good grade point average. In elementary school, however, this is not so much due to their own standards. Rather, most kids want to please their parents or teacher. They don’t want to give any cause for disappointment.
It is therefore important for parents to take a relaxed approach to (supposedly) fluffed classwork. Let your offspring know that you are not angry with them. If the child gets a B or C, explain that this is a good performance after all. After all, the grading scale does not consist only of ones and sixes.
If the child really does perform poorly, explain that failure is part of life. Tell an anecdote from the child’s own school life so that he or she realizes that it is perfectly normal to get bad grades from time to time.
Exam And School Anxiety
Anna is now in the 4th grade of elementary school. Since the last class test, she no longer feels like studying. She is cranky before tests and refuses to go to school.
In the fourth grade, many things change. Now there are class tests, the learning material becomes more dense, and they prepare for secondary schools. The children realize: There is more at stake now than before. Grades are becoming more important and exert a correspondingly high pressure on the kids.
This brings the problem of test anxiety onto the scene. This refers to a fear of being overwhelmed during an exam situation. This form of anxiety can be triggered by a number of events.
Sometimes kids can’t cope with the increasing demands or have received a bad grade. Especially during the last class tests before finishing elementary school, many kids get nervous. Then it can come to the so-called blackout. At such a moment, the kids have the feeling that they don’t know anything anymore, even though they had actually studied diligently. This feeling of powerlessness is terrifying and is deeply imprinted in the child’s memory.
However, school anxiety can also be triggered by bullying. If the child’s self-confidence drops, it can be easier to develop test anxiety or school anxiety.
In particularly bad cases, the children then suffer from psychosomatic complaints, i.e. they also feel the anxiety physically.
For children with exam or school anxiety, it is important to reconnect learning with positive feelings. This works, for example, with deep suggestion. The audiobook by psychologist Arnd Stein is recommended here: “No fear of class tests: Relaxation for children and parents”.
You can find more information and tips on the subject of school anxiety in the following articles on our homepage:
“School Anxiety Affects Many Kids”
“What is test anxiety?”
“Starting school without stress – 15 tips and tricks”
For a while now, Tobias has been very silent after school. When asked how school was, he waves it off in annoyance. His parents have the feeling that they no longer hear anything about his school day.
There are several reasons for this. On the one hand, mornings can be exhausting and nerve-racking for kids. When they get home, they want to catch their breath. If they are immediately confronted with school topics, tired schoolchildren understandably react with resistance.
In addition, the elementary school years are a step toward breaking the cord. The child becomes more independent. Some of the experiences they gain in the morning they want to keep for themselves.
However, such phases of radio silence usually give themselves. Therefore, refrain from pressuring the child to tell stories.
Instead, tell them about your day. This way, you don’t put the child under pressure and give him or her a breather. Tip: If you want to keep up to date, you can invite the child’s school friends to your home. This way, you can find out what’s going on at school.