Problems At School

Dear Sara,

My youngest son, age six, is having problems with his teacher at school. I don’t have any problem getting him to cooperate at home so I don’t understand what is going on. His teacher has called me to say that he is a behavior problem. I plan to have a meeting with her soon but I really can’t understand his behavior. What can I do to help the situation?

Dear Amy,

Often time children behave in such a way as suits their purpose. You have to ask yourself why your son would behave differently with his teacher. What is he trying to accomplish? Since he is the youngest in the family does he get lots of help from you and his siblings? It may be that his teacher expects him to behave more independently (which is good for him) and he is reacting to this. By acting helpless at home he may have conditioned his family to do things for him that he can very well do for himself.

When you have the conference with his teacher, try to determine where the problem really is. If you find that he is struggling with the school work and feeling frustrated because he can’t keep up, try helping him at home so that he can feel more competent. Sometimes a little extra help is that is needed to help him keep up with his peers. It ‘s possible that he could have some learning or attention problems that you can’t see at home. If his teacher thinks this is a possibility then have your son evaluated. He may need some extra help or medication.


  1. I would suggest you go into the classroom for a few hours and observe what is going on. It could be an issue as suggested by Sara, or it could be the teacher could have a personality conflict with your son. As a former teacher, I can tell you that happens often where a teacher just plain doesnt like a kid and complains about the child. I’m not saying that’s what is happening with your son, but keep it in the back of your mind as a possibility.

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