Ten Tips to Solve School Struggles.

Did your beloved child start off the school full of excitement but now grumbles and groans at the thought; or worse cuts totally out? Read on.

Cartoon "Child hates school."

I love to watch the line of first graders on the first day of school. All except a few shy ones wear  happy faces and are eager to enter the halls of learning.

Contrast that to drop out rates  of teens. Two problems dominate  the path to hating school: bullying and failure to learn.

I loved school, and am what is called a life long learning, this despite several struggles that often lead to hating school. Those struggles?  Bullying, and having two learning disabilities (LD). All living creatures are programmed to avoid hurt.  If something about school hurts and is not counted balanced by pleasure, resistance to school grows.

I was not physically bullied but was shunned and friendless during elementary school. Shunning is a subtle form of bullying. Why was I shunned? I changed schools in the second grade and was the first newcomer to my class. Friendship groups were already established and I was not included.  Exclusion from the in groups hurts, hurts more when it is accompanied by more obvious bullying.

As for my LD struggles, these were not formally diagnosed. LDs were not recognized as impeding learning until after I had graduated high school. My sons were dx with them in the late 79s; that was when I realized mine were part of my families genetic mix.

Here are some thoughts about what kept me a lifelong learner.

1. My parents emphasized trying over outcomes.

2. My mother branded my brain with the words “Nothing ventured nothing gained.

3. I am a bit brighter than the average bear as the saying goes. Not politically correct, but a fact of life that promotes school success and love of learning in some. Note the words “in some” and think about this. There are many types of brightness.

Howard Gardner, the guru of multiple intelligence, notes these types of  intelligence:

  1. Linguistic or word smart.

2. Logical or mathematical smart.

3. Music smart.

 4. Spatial or picture smart.

 5. kKnesthetic or body smart.

 6. Interpersonal or people smart.

7. intrapersonal or self-awareness  smart.

8. Naturalistic or nature smart.

9. Existential smart: the capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.

10. Pedagogical intelligence, the ability to teach.

Gardener recently claimed he was no longer in the business of naming more intelligences and was leaving that up to the next generation of researchers.

We all have more or less of each type of intelligence.. Some of us can do math; some cannot. I cannot. One of my learning disabilities is Dyscalculia or Math Dsylexia. I cannot do the simplest addition or subtraction because the numbers jump off the page or reverse; moreover, I cannot remember number facts. But I can do logic. Probably explains why I got A;s in Algebra, but Cs and Ds in all other math courses.

My other learning disability is dysgraphia which involves problems with writing, grammar and spelling) kept me uncertain and also humble.Also explains why no matter how much I edit, small mistakes are always there. Drives many readers away, but not all.

  4. I was blessed with teachers who saw my intelligence and built on it while down playing my weaknesses.

5.  My two learning disabilities  brought mega uncertainty into my life. Why was dealing with the  uncertainty a good thing?

Jerome Kagan, guru for understanding people,  notes that the  desire to overcome uncertainty motivates us almost as much as the need for food or the desire to have sex.  He also notes  uncertainty can push us to keep going or to get rid of it by blaming others or ourselves or just not trying.

I was bright enough to have success in many areas, but despair overcame me in terms of math.

Why is humbleness good? For me it meant knowing, I did not know all the answers and had to look to others instead of relying only on my own knowledge or beliefs.

So what Emotional Fitness Training Tips to I have to improve your child’s lifelong ability to keep learning. They are summed up in this poster coach.

let learn

More parenting tips

In addition to the  above, the Following tips help parent’s keep love of learning in their children.

Parenting Tip One: Find your child’s strengths and support them. 

Parenting Tip Two: Make it clear every one has both strengths and weakness.

Parenting Tip Three: Allow as much free play time as you can manage particularly for the pre-schooler. 

Parenting Tip Four: Be alert to your child’s learning style. I learn with a gentle distraction in the background; I learn best by reading. If I am listening to a lecture, I most take notes. One of my sons learns best by listening without taking notes. This link takes you to a good article about learning styles. 

Parenting Tip Five: If your child starts resisting school, get serious about seeig if  bullying or a learning disability are lurking and doing damage to your child’s life. 

Go here for information and links about about bullying. 

Go here for help with Learning Disabilities. 

Parenting Tip Six: Related to LD’s fear of failure can also lead to  problems taking test. My ebook Tame the Test Anxiety Monster help when performance anxiety is a problem. 

Parenting Tip Seven: Develop your and your  child’s self soothing skills.  Buy my eBook.  Self-Soothing to Create Calm in Your Life.   The exercises in the book will relax you more than a latte and cost less.

Parenting Tip Eight: Make sure your child knows what matters.  Most negative feelings are responses to things that really do not matter in the long run. Being cut off in traffic, breaking a fingernail, not being able to buy the newest gadget, someone else’s rudeness—these are just not worth getting upset about.

What really matters? Wise men across all ages have taught what matter is being kind, caring, and fair. Translated into advice for parents, this means teach your children to practice kindness by stressing that manners are all about kindness. The earlier you teach manners the better.

Parenting tip nine: Learn to hold Successful Family Meetings. Well run family meetings teach important life skills including manners, how to negotiate, and problem solve; promote positive togetherness; and ease the stress of parenting.

Another of my books teaches you the art of making family meetings successful. Here’s the link to that book. 

Parenting Tip Ten: Strengthen yours and your child’s self soothing skills.  And yes I have an eBook to help with that: Self-soothing to Create Calm in Your Life. All my books cost less than a movie ticket and last longer.


Sharing is caring; so is liking, or commenting.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult, but exercises like this one lets me find the good.


This post was not inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt  but pertains to it: Lazy Learners -Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn but haven’t gotten around to? What is it and what’s stopping you from mastering the skill? Thanks for the prompt suggestion, BasicallyBeyondBasic!


These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises (www.emotionalfitnesstraining.com
The five components of Emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents(amazon.com)


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