How Do You Help a Child Struggling in School?

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There are times when children will perform well in school and gradually parents will start to notice their grades dropping. This is what happened to a friend’s son, Terry. He enjoyed school a lot, wasn’t much of a reader, but his grades in other subjects were superb. As he moved to senior secondary class, his grades moved from A’s & B’s to C’s & D. The mother was worried, she tried to help by taking away his TV privileges and even resulted in scolding – nothing seemed to work.

Motivating kids to learn is not an easy task. Parents and teachers see it as a difficult task, especially when they are all share interest in the child’s academic performance. Parents believe that their child failing is a failure on their path also because it feels like a direct reflection on their parenting abilities. They blame themselves and confront their child in anger. A child then feels the pressure of having disappointed their parents.

There are many ways we can help our children when they are struggling in school. Here are some simple steps to help you:


1.   Be Calm

It is very easy to want to lash out when our children bring home bad grades, but we should always resist the urge to do so. Remember how calm we are when they come home with good grades? We should display such emotion too when they come home with D. tell yourself, “My son came home with a “D.” That is too that bad. What is he missing that he needs help with? What can I help him do so that he can succeed and take responsibility for his work?”

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2.   Don’t Get Angry

Instead of reacting to your child’s poor grade with anger or punishment, respond with kindness and understanding. If you respond in anger to your child’s less than perfect schoolwork, you actually decrease your child’s motivation to learn. It is important to sometimes say, “I don’t have problem with your grades, but I do hope you are disappointed with your scores. Let me know if I can help you or support you in any way.”


Read More: 5 Signs Your Child is Struggling at School


3.   Avoid Power Struggle

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As parents, we always like to be in control. But the moment you start to have a power struggle with your children, learning stops. Children cannot learn when they are upset. We should always try to avoid conflict with our kids. Rather, let them know that you will always be there to help them make the right choices.


4.   Foster a Positive Relationship

The best thing you can do for your children is to keep a loving relationship with them. Children who feel loved by their parents are likely to do better in school. Do not let your love for your kids depend on their grades, it is the beginning of a disaster. Rather than spending time to scold and punish them, develop ways to spend quality time with your kids.

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5.   Talk to Your Teachers

Once you notice the decline in your child’s grade, set up a meeting with the teacher. In as much as you want to help, you cannot do it alone. There might be things the teacher is aware of that you are not, and vice versa. Start the conversation in a non-confrontational way: “I have been noticing a decline in Junior’s grades, have you noticed anything? Is there anything I can do at home to help him? What is your opinion of her academic performance?”

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