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What to Do When Your Kid Says: "My Teacher Hates Me!"

Your kid says he’s being singled out by a teacher who hates him? Don’t call the principal yet — here's what to do instead.
 

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Last year your child had Miss Warm and Fuzzy. But this year, he has Mrs. Tough Love — and he’s convinced she has it out for him. The more likely scenario? “‘My teacher doesn’t like me’ is code for ‘I don’t like my teacher,’” says Jennifer Mitgang, a family therapist in Rego Park, NY, specializing in school-age issues. If your child’s not used to being more firmly corrected, he could be projecting his feelings onto his teacher. If you suspect that’s it, here’s what to do:

Validate his feelings. He's not going to love every teacher he gets. Let him know that’s okay; share a teacher story of your own. His job is just to do his best and follow the rules.
 
Make a “good” list. Have him write down all the things he does like about school. It will help him focus on the positives instead of, well, her.
 
Set him up for success. A child who expresses himself in nonacademic ways outside of school is more likely to be happy and confident in the classroom, says Suzanne Raga, author of You Rock! Sports, music or dance lessons, even fun family activities on the weekend can put kids in a positive frame of mind come Monday.

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