A new school year means a new classroom, new teachers, and new friends. Getting into the routine of a new school year can be intimidating, causing kids to feel anxious and become fearful to ask for help. When kids are afraid to ask for help, they can start to fall behind in the classroom or distance themselves from their peers. This could lead to a decrease in confidence and self-esteem If your child is finding it hard to ask for help, whether it be with school work or with peer conflicts, here are some helpful tips to assist him or her in gaining the courage to ask for support.
Tell your child it is okay and encourage them to ask questions.
It is important that your child knows that no matter how “silly” they think their question is, it is always important to listen and support them. If a child feels afraid to ask for help because they could be shamed or made fun of, let them know there is never a “dumb question.” Additionally, if the question they are asking has to do with school, emphasize that teachers are there to help and protect their students, to keep them safe and to help them learn, and, if questions are not asked, teachers may not know they need help. Here you can make light of the situation and remind your child that teachers are not mind readers and they too need help understanding how they can best help and support.
Give your child a pad and pencil to write down their questions.
It is possible that your child is not asking their teachers questions because their teacher is busy or in the middle of a lesson. Having a pad and pencil on hand to write down questions can help your child remember their questions and feel more comfortable to ask at a more appropriate time. This can also help them focus on the lesson at hand rather than on the question they are waiting to ask.
The beginning of the school year can feel intimidating for everyone, students and teachers alike. In order for children to feel comfortable enough to ask a question if they need help, it is important for them to feel empowered to ask. Some ways to empower your child could be with a simple note in their lunchbox, reinforcing and validating their questions at home, or by encouraging them to try their best. Explaining that trying their best includes asking for help when needed. This may help your child understand the importance of asking for help in a time of need!
Talk about friendships and peer conflicts.
It is important to explain to your child that teachers are not only there to teach and help students learn, but are also there to help with friendships and peer conflicts. As an example, if there is a conflict on the playground it is important for your child to know he or she is able to ask an adult for help if they need to. Simply reminding your child that teachers are on the playground to help mediate conflicts and solve problems, as well as there to help keep them safe, will be a helpful reminder for your child that they can always turn to an adult for help.
If your child is struggling to seek extra support in school, it might be helpful for you as the parent to let the teacher know so they can reach out to the student first. If a child feels they have a strong relationship with their teacher, it is more than likely that they will do better academically and socially.
If your child needs assistance in communicating with their teachers or working on strategies to ask for help, therapy could be warranted. To see if we are the right fit for you, please call (347) 758-2985 for a free 15-minute phone consultation.