How to Help Your Child When They are Struggling in School

How to Help Your Child When They are Struggling in School

It can be difficult as a parent to see your child struggling in school. They might be failing classes, being reprimanded by teachers for disruptive behavior, or just not understanding what is being taught. It can be scary to think about your child struggling like this, especially if it seems the problem is beginning to snowball. Here are some tips that can help you support them as they work to improve their academic performance.

  1. Help your child organize their schoolwork.

It can be overwhelming for children to have so much work to do, especially if they are still trying to grasp the material themselves. Help them break down their assignments into smaller chunks, and show them how putting these tasks in a logical order can help reduce the stress that comes with it. If they are in high school or older, they might be able to use a school planner or calendar app to keep track of what is coming next. Many apps and programs also allow parents to check on their child’s progress remotely as well.

  1. Teach your child how to ask for help

If there are problems understanding specific concepts in class, don’t fret — it doesn’t mean that your child is stupid or incapable of succeeding. There are almost always multiple ways to approach a problem, and it can help to ask for help when you get stuck. The teacher might be able to explain the lesson in a different way, even if they don’t give you all of the answers. You can also look into tutoring programs, which can help students who are struggling catch up and get back on track.

  1. Encourage learning outside of school

It’s important that you try to engage your child in activities that teach and reinforce the same things they learn in school, but it’s also essential to foster interest in other subjects as well. Try looking into magazines or online articles that cover ideas relating to their favorite subject, and talk about it with them. You can also help them explore different hobbies and interests outside of school. This will not only improve your child’s problem-solving skills in all areas, but it might even inspire an entirely new career path.

  1. Support your child emotionally

It’s normal for children to try and hide their problems from their parents as long as possible, but this can lead to a lot of pent-up anger and resentment. Sometimes, one bad test or assignment is enough to cause a domino effect which leads to more stress, worse grades for weeks after, and a toll on their mental health. You should talk with your child frequently so you can understand what is going on. If they are willing to show you their schoolwork, look for patterns in the problems they are having or where they are struggling with certain classes. This will make it easier to help them improve, and let them know that you support them even when they aren’t doing well.

  1. Reward success

It’s easy for children to forget about their successes when they are constantly struggling with problems, especially if they don’t seem to be making any progress. Make sure your child is aware of how far they’ve come by rewarding them with something that makes them feel good after they have done well. This could be anything from taking them out for ice cream to buying them a new book, as long as it’s something that can motivate them and show that you’re proud of their academic accomplishments.

  1. Try not to control or micromanage your child

Many parents fall into the trap of trying to control every aspect of their child’s life, especially when they struggle with school. Do not worry about what time they go to sleep or which friends they hang out with, or whether they should start an extracurricular activity that you think will help them improve. All of these choices should be left up to your child after you have discussed their options and made sure it is safe for them (e.g., no joining the football team if they have a broken leg). Allow your children to fail on their own, own their mistakes, and brush it off after standing back up.

  1. Discuss the future

It’s understandable that you want to shield your children from any negative consequences that can result from poor grades, particularly if they are young enough for it to impact their entire future. At the same time, you should encourage your child to think about their long-term goals and how bad grades might affect them. If they are old enough, discuss different careers so they can see what steps they will need to take in order to succeed. This will help motivate them to do better in school, but also show them that educational failure can really affect their prospects.

With some time and patience, your child can get through a rough patch and come out stronger than ever. Especially if you are there to support them through thick and thin, they will eventually get through it with more confidence in their own skills and abilities.

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