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How to Problem Solve if a Child is Having Issues at School

It can be worrying as a parent if your child is struggling or having problems at school. Whether it’s difficulties with schoolwork, issues with friendships, or clashes with teachers, these problems can impact your child’s wellbeing, learning, and overall experience at school. When problems crop up, it’s important to address them head-on through open communication and a structured approach to problem solving. With some time and effort, you can get to the bottom of the issue and work with both your child and the school to find an effective solution that works for everyone.


How to Problem Solve if a Child is Having Issues at School


Notice Changes in Behaviour

Often the first sign something is amiss is changes in your child’s normal behaviour – perhaps they become withdrawn, upset after school, or start saying they feel ill to avoid going in. Make sure you’re aware of subtle changes like this in your child’s demeanour that could indicate an issue.

If the child is a foster child and you haven’t been fostering in Nottingham long enough to know what’s normal for that child, speak to your agency for some insights into their previous behaviour in school.


Talk Openly

If you suspect a problem, create an open and supportive environment to discuss it. Ask your child how they are finding school currently. Allow them to share openly without judgement about any difficulties they are having. Make it clear you are there to listen, understand, and help come up with solutions.


Identify the Root Cause

Pinpoint the specific issues underlying the problem through your conversations. For example, is your child struggling with particular subjects, having trouble socially connecting with peers, or facing challenges with a teacher? Determine key details like who else is involved, how long issues have persisted, and the major effects on your child.


Develop Potential Solutions

Brainstorm possible solutions taking into consideration perspectives from both you and your child. Provide reassurance you will tackle this collaboratively. Ensure your child feels heard and empowered in the process. Potential solutions could involve offering academic help at home, setting up a meeting with a teacher, or making a plan to interact with new friends. 


Communicate with the School

Arrange to speak to your child’s teacher or the head of year to discuss issues transparently and decide next steps. Be willing to listen to the school’s viewpoint while also advocating for your child’s needs. Plan actions like additional in-school support or meetings between your child and other staff members. Manage the issue through cooperation.


Review and Revise

Check-in periodically with your child to see if implemented solutions are working or if alternative strategies are needed. Be prepared to problem solve further if aspects of the original plan aren’t effective. View it as an evolving process that requires diligence and flexibility from both you and the school.

Dealing with school struggles requires determination, empathy and regular communication between parents, children and school staff. Maintaining an open, collaborative approach focused on finding workable solutions is key to getting children back on track educationally and emotionally.

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