Signs Your Child May Be Struggling in School

School can be a stressful time for children. With the recent pandemic, many children have been away from the classroom for a year or even more. Transitioning can be tough, and when children return to school, it can be more challenging for a parent to know the extent of how they are doing during school hours. As a result, we wanted to share signs of a child who may be struggling with schoolwork so that you can provide them with the help they may need. Our Florida offices provide family services and counseling and have experience with identifying and treating children that may be struggling.

Behavioral Changes That Indicate Your Child May Be Stressed Out

Children may not always know how to communicate their feelings and problems. As a result, many signs that indicate your child may be struggling in school will be behavioral in nature. A common change in behavior that may point to a deeper issue is a change in sleep and diet, both of which can be triggered by stress. If you notice that your child is sleeping significantly less or more or is not quite as hungry as normal, it may be a symptom of stress. As the new school year approaches, your child may be entering a new grade or new school that has added to their workload and difficulty, and this added stress often impacts both diet and sleep.  

In addition to diet and sleep, another behavioral change that indicates stress is excessive time spent completing homework, though this will depend on the grade they are in and the difficulty of their classes. Your child working diligently on school work is usually a good sign; however, if they begin spending an excessive amount of time, or an unusual amount for the grade they are in, it may be due to them feeling unprepared or confused with assignments. If you are unsure of your child’s workload, it may be best to speak with their teachers to see how much time they should be spending on their assignments.

Further behavioral changes indicating a stressed child are if they refuse to discuss the school day with you, if they change subjects quickly, or if they have a change in attitude towards school. Of course, though children love snow days and long weekends and they may say they hate school, they do enjoy seeing their friends and classmates even if they don’t always admit it. If your child suddenly becomes very hostile or closed off when the subject is brought up, it may indicate that they are struggling.

Changes at School That May Indicate Your Child Is Struggling /span>

In addition to behavioral changes at home, changes in actions and behavior at school can signify that your child’s current workload is causing harmful stress. Part of being a child is occasionally stepping out of line and getting in trouble. Though this is a normal part of adolescence, if you begin to notice that your child is receiving detentions, or if their school has contacted you that they have been misbehaving, it may be a result of them struggling with their schoolwork.

Being disobedient is a common symptom of a child experiencing stress, as they wish to draw attention away from slipping grades by misbehaving. If your child is normally well behaved and has recently begun acting out, you should speak with their teachers to further understand their current grades and assignments. Acting out can result from stress, bullying, and a variety of factors which is why speaking to their teachers can give you the insight you need to give your child the help they need.

Giving Your Child the Help They Need

Finding the root problem behind behavioral changes in your children can be difficult. Children are still learning to communicate and may sometimes need extra help in expressing themselves. Our therapists in Delray Beach and West Palm Beach, Florida, provide therapy guidance and counseling services for children and families. Contact us today to schedule an in-person appointment or to book a telehealth therapy session.

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