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Anger & frustration

At a Glance: Signs of Frustration in Your Middle-Schooler

By Kate Kelly

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In middle school, frustrations can mount for kids with learning and attention issues. Students have a lot more to deal with, from multiple teachers and classes to social cliques to higher academic expectations. Here are some of the signs of frustration plus ways you can help.

17Found this helpful
At a Glance: Signs of Frustration in Your Middle-Schooler

Some negative behaviors in middle school kids with learning and attention issues can be caused by frustration. But that’s not always easy for parents to figure out. Here’s help understanding your child’s actions.
What you’re seeing:
Your child failed a math test even though he studied hard. Now he’s refusing to do his homework, saying school is “stupid.”

What may be happening:
He feels that his hard work doesn’t pay off, so why bother?
What to do:
Meet with your child’s teacher to get help immediately. Involve the case manager if your child has an
Individualized Education Program (IEP). It’s the school’s job to give your child the support he needs. Reassure him that lots of people want to help him succeed.
What you’re seeing:
Your child shouts out the answers in class. His teacher reprimands him and tells you he’s being disruptive.

What may be happening:
He’s afraid he’ll forget the answer if he doesn’t say it right away.

What to do:
Ask the teacher if there are strategies she can try in the classroom. Perhaps she can allow your child five
interruptions per day—she can keep track discreetly on a sticky note. Once he can keep to five, the teacher can move him down to four checks a day, and so on.

What you’re seeing:
Your child rarely brings home the materials he needs to complete his homework assignments.

What may be happening:
He’s struggling with the complexity of organizing materials for several classes.
What to do:
Try a new system. Have your child keep all his spiral notebooks, folders, papers, and any other materials in a large, expandable accordion folder according to subject area. Everything, including his assignment book, goes in. It goes back and forth to school each day.
Graphic of At a Glance: Signs of Frustration in Your Middle-Schooler
Graphic of At a Glance: Signs of Frustration in Your Middle-Schooler

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About the Author

Portrait of Kate Kelly

Kate Kelly

Kate Kelly has been writing and editing for more than 20 years, with a focus on parenting.

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Reviewed by Ginny Osewalt Jun 04, 2014 Jun 04, 2014

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