Heidi Allen Garvin, founder of the website Mormon Moms, has garnered an enormous following with her compassionate advice about raising children. It’s all too easy to brush off a child’s complaint like this, she says.

“First I would inquire, ‘What happened? Why do you feel that way’? I’d let him share his feelings and add simple follow-up questions. After he’s talked and ‘felt heard,’ I’d ask him what he thinks we should do.

“Oft-times children are able to work through issues on their own if they feel cared about and understood. If it seems more serious I’d continue: ‘Do you think we should go talk to the teacher? Could you have misunderstood something?’ and proceed from there.

The main thing is to not talk children out of their feelings; rather, seek to understand — and help them figure out — why they feel as they do. That simple act can resolve a lot of challenges. Feelings matter and are part of learning, for all of us, so that we may better communicate in family, work, and educational pursuits. As we listen to understand, our children begin to trust that they can come to us with other concerns and we’ll be there for them.

“If the child needs to change teachers to feel safe or more comfortable, then that’s a very viable and important option. Sometimes children are better off with a different teacher for learning styles, personalities, emphasis on topics, classroom noise, etc.”

Wait, there’s more! Hear what other parenting experts say is the best way to handle a teacher problem.

Sh*tty Mom“Sh*tty Moms” Mary Ann Zoellner and Alicia Ybarbo: That’s life! Some people won’t like you…

John DuffyJohn Duffy: At some point, all kids will run into a teacher who doesn’t like them. But don’t…

Gabor MateGabor Maté: If you don’t understand your child, you can’t easily solve this problem…

Christine CarterChristine Carter: Parents can feel helpless. What if the teacher really doesn’t like your child?

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