Education and your child’s emotional health

Doing well at school is related to better resilience. This is not restricted to academic achievement but can be about your child’s all-round experience of school or learning. Many children and young people reach a stage where learning is seen as ‘not cool’. Your child may enjoy excelling in areas of education but for others this can make them self-conscious and want to ‘hide’ their achievement from their peers.

If a child or young person is finding learning and participating difficult this can impact negatively on their self-esteem and general confidence.

This may result in them appearing more withdrawn, making negative statements about themselves or behaving negatively in response to their sense of feeling they’re underachieving. As a parent/carer your response to these situations and challenges can really influence your child’s resilience. Being able to listen and respond to help with your child’s development is really important, This includes your child’s interests and creativity, their strengths and ways that connect directly with their aims after school.

Knowing how to help isn’t always easy. The first thing to do is listen and make space for your child to tell you about their experience of education. This will often be in subtle ways. How was your day? What does your child tell you first? “I made this really awesome presentation” – this tells you that they are proud of something and they felt they did a good job. Perhaps presenting is a strength or that subject is one they love or “Mr Smith put me in detention because X threw a pen at me and I threw it back” – What lesson is this? Have they spoken about Mr Smith before? Who is X? A friend, someone who is affecting your child negatively and is this a pattern of behaviour.

Life is busy but the first step to understanding your child’s experience or perception of education is to listen. Try and make this part of your day.

If you want to read more about related topics please explore the following links:

You can find help and support if you think your child is experiencing poor concentration on the MindEd website. This also addresses young people who do not engage with school and if this affects their education. You’ll also find advice on school refusal, help with transition and lots of other helpful advice on the MindEd website.