When kids get extra help at school, they may worry that they’ll be teased about it or get made fun of. How can you help your child cope with these feelings? What can you say to help your child feel OK? Here are three ideas.
1. “I understand why you’re worried. Kids can be mean sometimes.”
Your first instinct might be to say that other kids won’t notice or care about the extra help. But that’s not reality.
2. “Many other kids have something they need help with, too.”
Kids often think they’re the only ones with challenges. That can make them feel alone. Knowing that other kids have a hard time with things can make your child feel less alone and vulnerable.
Explain that if kids tease, it may be because they’re struggling with their own challenges. Role-play with your child to come up with things to say when kids tease.
3. “Kids may not understand why you get extra help. Maybe you can explain.”
Being able to speak up and explain their challenges builds self-esteem and lets kids feel some control over the situation. It may also cut off teasing before it has a chance to start.
Talk openly at home about what your child struggles with and how extra support will help. And point out your child’s strengths, so it’s not all about challenges.
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About the author
About the author
The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.
Amanda Morin is the director of thought leadership at Understood and author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.” She worked as a classroom teacher and early intervention specialist for more than a decade.