7 Common School Problems That You Can Immediately Address ...

If left unattended, common school problems may blow up into serious issues that we, parents, don't ever want to experience. It's heartbreaking to see our children - the very people we carried in our wombs for nine long months and nurtured for years - going through difficult times in school. But there is something we can do, and that is to give our full attention to these common school problems before it's too late. Here are seven school problems that you can immediately address:

1. Getting Teased in Class

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It's one of the common school problems that my aunts and uncles have to deal with. Their advice when this happens: talk to your child and talk to the teacher. Kids are kids and they don't usually realize that teasing can hurt other people's feelings. Make it clear to your child that he/she didn't do anything wrong. Tell the teacher about it too. A good teacher can integrate this incident in her class in a form of a story or an exercise.

2. Not Making Friends

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For me, it's normal for a child to go home after his/her first day without telling you about a new friend. First days in school are usually difficult and intimidating. But if it's been a month and your child doesn't have a friend, it's time to assess the situation. Talk to him/her more and ask him/her about school. You can also enlist the support of the teacher so he/she can help you out.

3. Low Test Scores

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Like the first two school problems, low test scores is an issue that you need to immediately look into because it will lead to a more serious problem - like failing grades - if not addressed. There is something fundamentally wrong with the way things have turned out when you know that your child has good study habits but turns out with low test scores. Investigate! But please don't confront your child in a manner that will depreciate his/her self-esteem. Ask nicely and lovingly.

4. Cheating

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I had several classmates in grade school whose parents were summoned by the principal and the guidance counselor for cheating offenses. You can just imagine how embarrassed they were. Cheating is a mortal sin in school and usually leads to grave consequences. Make sure to remind your child that cheating is not good and that no matter what happens, honesty is still the best policy.

5. Stereotypes

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This is pretty common in high school when labels/groupings are as common as the pressure of getting a boyfriend/girlfriend. Were you part of The Mean Girls or The Beauty Queens? Or were you in the Nerds/Geeks group? Stereotypes can be nasty and can force a teenager to be the person that he/she is not. This a complaint of two of my high school cousins and I always tell them that they don't need to be famous for the world to know that they are beautiful. I told them: "Stay calm and steady. Study well. Nothing beats a person with beauty and brains."

6. Cutting Classes

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One of my aunts told me that her 13-year-old son's teacher reported that he skips class and goes to an internet cafe where he plays video games. Alarmed, my aunt reported the incident to the village council, who circulated an ordinance that internet cafes should not admit students during class hours. Be vigilant! There are external factors that affect how young people act, so don't hesitate to bring anything relevant to the authorities' attention whenever necessary.

7. Swearing

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"How, in heaven's name, did you learn that word?" My Mom asked my sister when she suddenly said a bad word casually - like she was just saying "Good morning." She said she learned it from her playmate. This happened 21 years ago but it stuck in my mind because I remembered my Mom telling my sister: "That's not a cool word. If you continue to say it, your tongue will burn and you won't be able to speak." Mom then talked to the parents of my sister's playmate.

Have you encountered any of these school problems?

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