My Child Hates Elementary School

Dear Intuitive Friend, 

My daughter is in first grade and we are having severe difficulties with her attendance in school. She cries every single morning when we are trying to get her ready. She is very quiet in class and barely interacts with the other children. When she comes home, we can see that she has barely eaten any of her lunch, and she complains of headaches and stomach aches. She was homeschooled for kindergarten, so I know she is more than capable. What is going on here? How can we help her to have a better transition into first grade? 


Desperate Parents 


Dear Desperate Parents, 

Your situation is not entirely unique. All over the country, we have children experiencing learning loss as well as anxieties surrounding school. Quarantine, homeschooling, and cyber schooling have taken their toll. Additionally, it is understandable that your daughter is having some difficulty transitioning to first grade since she was home with you for kindergarten. This is new territory for her! Along with that, it does sound like she has some symptoms of anxiety. My recommendation would be to reach out to the school principal and guidance counselor. They can make a plan with you to help ease the transition into brick-and-mortar school, quell some of that separation anxiety, and help your daughter fall in love with learning. There are also some amazing poems and children’s books on the subject that you can read to your daughter to help as well. Patience for both the parents and the child is also warranted. Best of luck to you! 

With Love, 

Intuitive Friend 

Michelle is a writer, a teacher, and a married mother of two beautiful and spirited little girls. In her column “Ask That Intuitive Friend,” Michelle answers readers’ questions regarding family matters, friendship, and relationships by combining lived experience and pure intuition. Readers are encouraged to submit their questions via email: and follow Michelle’s memoir-in-progress, “Twice Upon an Orphan,” at