When and how to change schools

prettyndsweet12 asks: I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe if so many people at my school are continuing to be rude and mean to me, to the point where I can’t even get an education, then maybe I should just leave that school. How can I send the message to my mom that I am not happy where I am, and that I really want to leave? I’ve done this before, but, as you can see, I am still stuck in the same sticky situation, and I want out!

Hi prettyndsweet12 –


Oh I’m so sorry this situation hasn’t gotten any better!  Have you tried the things I suggested before?


If so, then I’m really of two opinions here (and that’s very difficult for a dog – our brains aren’t as big as yours, you know!).  On one hand, I will gladly give you some suggestions on how to talk to your mom about switching schools.  But on the other, I don’t know if it’s really worth the trouble.


For the first one, kids complain about things all the time.  Parents learn to block out some of their children’s complaints, no matter how much they love and respect them.  “I hate Billy and I never want to see him again!” gets said one day, and the next day that same kid is asking if Billy can spend the night.  “I want to be a romantic musician, so all I want for Christmas is a trombone!”  and the next day the kid hates music and wants to be a computer programmer.  Ya know?  Can you relate?


So, given that, there is nothing more common for a kid to complain about than school!  So a question like “Can I leave this school” truly does go ‘in one ear and out the other.’  What you need to do, prettyndsweet12, is talk to your mother in a way that she’ll really understand how serious you are.  Can you write out a list of other schools you might be able to attend, and maybe a list of reasons why it would be best for you to leave?  I’m a big fan of chairs for conversations like this, too:  Don’t mention it to her while you’re grabbing an apple on your way out the door; plan a time with her when the two of you can sit down together for a serious conversation.  Explain your feelings to her clearly and directly.  If you can do all that, she’ll be a lot more receptive to your ideas.


But then there’s that other hand:  prettyndsweet12, I wish it weren’t so, but the truth is there will be mean kids at any school you go to.  Anywhere in the world.  I promise you, the Pack Members who read your earlier letter, whether they live in Bangladesh or Boise or Bangkok or Budapest, all of them relate perfectly to what you’re going through!  And I say that, not to make you feel bad, but to encourage you to keep trying to win this battle where you are.


These gossipers and liars and exaggerators will grow up.  I wish it would happen sooner, but they will.  And if you can learn how to handle them, you’ll be able to handle anything like that that ever happens in your life in the future too.


So here’s my thought.  First, keep plugging away, and see if you can fix these problems while you’re there.  But also, do have that talk with your mom, and maybe even start looking into some other schools.

But don’t make any decisions too quickly.  Be sure you really want to move before you do.  Because it can be awfully tough to start at a new place, maybe even tougher than what you’re going through here.


All my best,



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