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5 Ways to gauge if your student is having trouble in school

5 Ways to gauge if your student is having trouble in school

Most kids aren't eager to communicate when they're having trouble at school. Sometimes the lack of sharing is due to embarrassment, shame, fear, or not wanting to worry a parent who may already be stressed about work, finances, family matters, or health issues.

But there are methods you can use—and clues you can decipher—to help determine if there's an issue. Consider these 5 tips to help you gauge if your student is having trouble in school.

1. Report cards 

Poor grades don't usually indicate laziness but rather a learning struggle, emotional challenge (e.g., anxiety, depression, fear), or physical concern (e.g., poor vision or hearing). Consider taking your child in for a Brain Skills Assessment to determine if there's a cognitive skills weakness, a physical exam, or a mental health evaluation. 

2. Parent-teacher meetings

Teachers are often the first to alert parents to a problem at school. Take the time to ask questions and really listen to any concerns or observations the teacher has made in the classroom.

3. Mood, sleep, or eating changes

A child who becomes distant or depressed, or seems exhausted due to lack of sleep may be coping with some big feelings. The same is true for a child who normally has a healthy appetite but suddenly begins avoiding meals or pushing food around on their plate. 

4. Changes in friends or activities

Quitting a sport, dropping an after-school activity, or losing friendships may be a sign that something isn't right at school.

5. Behavioral issues at school (and home)

Multiple trips to detention or the principal's office is more likely an indicator that something is disturbing your child. From academic struggles and bullying, there are a host of reasons to get to the bottom of behavioral issues sooner rather than later. Poor behavior at home may also indicate a school-based problem.