Children being children do not often know that they are in a problem, which is partly why they don't proactively raise it as a concern.
There is also the sub-conscious pressure that they are growing up hence they can deal with things independently rather than getting parents involved. To share an example parents often find out that their children are struggling academically at school once the exam results arrive. Very few children openly admit that they are struggling, it is not something to be proud of and certainly requires strength to acknowledge.
However academic struggle is not the sole prime concern, this also applies to when they are getting pestered and bullied at school. At this tender age of growing from a child into a young adult there is an immense pressure to act independently. They want to handle things their way and without any help. Whilst offering assistance as a parent can be difficult considering the resistance, it is perhaps slightly easier to have a chat rather than offering solutions.
Sitting down with children to find out how they are doing in life does not just help them plan their life better but also brings the family closer. Unfortunately getting children to talk is not easy especially with the countless distractions and 'I am fine Mom' attitude. However one must overcome the short-term barriers in order to plan a fruitful future.
Start off with a general conversational topic about perhaps the current affairs but something meaningful. They will not become defensive since it is not a personal topic but it will get them talking and reduce hesitation. Then slowly relate it to a topic about your school life, may be about your struggle, difficult subject, teacher or an incident. Share an example of what you used to do when struggling or under pressure and subtly ask them about their school.
So have a chat, release your stress and help your children release their tensions too. If it does the trick then it would be nice to hear back, do drop us a line. Ciao