Being a parent includes worrying about your child’s future while accepting the fact that you don’t have full control over what he or she becomes. Still, you do your best—and when he’s underperforming in school, you do even more.
In times when your child seems unmotivated when it comes to academics, here are steps you can take to get him back on track.
#1 Be open and positive towards your child
No matter what happens, don’t make your child feel that you’re not on the same team. Make him feel your full support in improving his study habits so he can achieve a better standing at school. Avoid threatening or punishing him. Practice open communication, positivity, and an encouraging environment. This way, he will be willing to open up to you about his struggles and where he needs help.
#2 Do not compare him with other kids
Comparing your child with other kids—such as the best performing student in his class—will hurt his self-esteem and can possibly stress him out more. Start by assessing your child’s current performance and focus on helping him get back up. Draw a plan of action to help him improve his school grades instead of yelling or using the success of other kids against him when he gets low marks in class. Remember, your child has strengths of his own. All you have to do is bring them out.
#3 Talk to his teacher
If there’s one person who has a good grasp of how your child is performing in school and in which areas he needs improvement, it would be his teacher. Schedule a consultation with his instructor to help you gauge the situation and ask for advice on how you can advance your kid’s performance in class. His teacher will also help you monitor his progress especially if she knows you’re doing something to give your child a boost.
#4 Consider giving rewards
Though providing rewards may not be a long-term solution, it can be effective in helping your child achieve smaller goals such as finishing a homework or foregoing playtime. By strategically using this tool to motivate your child, you’re able to get positive actions out of him so make sure that you provide rewards only when necessary.
#5 Get extra help
It won’t hurt to ask for help from external sources. To lessen the strain in your relationship with your child—and to save you time as well—consider getting a professional tutor or an older student to conduct extra classes for your child during the weekends.
#6 Praise him for a job well done
Kids love it when their work is appreciated. Make sure to praise your child every time he’s done something right and most especially, when he has shown signs of improvement. This way he knows that his effort is being noticed and he’ll be motivated to continue improving and putting in the work.
#7 Help him manage his school tasks
Sometimes, underperformance may be happening because your child is overwhelmed with the tasks ahead of him. Help him manage his school load by breaking it down into smaller, actionable items. You can start it off with a system, using tools such as checklists and calendars, that he can get used to over time. This way, he has a clearer idea of what to do first and how much time he can put into each task.