When you see a child struggle with their school tasks, it becomes important to intervene and immediately provide them the help they need. The longer it takes for a student to seek help, the harder it is for them to catch up to perform well.
How can you detect whether your child is struggling? They aren’t always comfortable to share information about their school performance. We spoke to our colleagues who drew from their personal experiences to come up with the three main reasons that children struggle in school.
Identifying the reasons behind why they’re struggling will better equip you to support and encourage them to succeed, personally and academically.
It is not surprising to hear that students feel disengaged from the tasks that are given to them at school. This disengagement, in turn, diminishes their enthusiasm to study and learn.
Boredom can be detected in defiant behaviour or procrastination. For example, sometimes above average students, who don’t feel stimulated enough at school, can become underachievers. On the other hand, students who are struggling to understand their work can also become disinterested and unmotivated. You can begin to solve the dilemma by asking our child, “What classes do you think are interesting? What do you find boring?” If they complain of being uninterested, please do not blame them. Try to ask whether there is anything that is too easy for them, or too difficult. It is important to motivate the child by either supporting them to strengthen their understanding or challenging them with more difficult work.
2) Personal Problems
Teenage years, in particular, are a time of great change in the human psyche and biology. During this time, a lot of students struggle a bit because of the problems that arise from their personal lives. Students who can balance these problems with their school work are more likely to successfully overcome these challenges.
But if your child is struggling, please do not ignore it. It is important to not ignore personal issues. Mental health is as important as physical health, and your child will not perform well if they are stressed.
3) Low Confidence
There are many students who do not have the confidence raise their concerns properly. If they are confused about a task, they often give up instead of seeking help from teachers. Sometimes this can be caused by a learning environment in which asking questions is perceived to be a weakness. Empowering students to feel confident to communicate their struggles and take charge of these situations will make sure that they feel comfortable asking questions they don’t understand something. Teach your child there is great strength in asking questions. The real weakness lies in pretending that one is an expert of everything.
Students need to be constantly encouraged and motivated to achieve success. It is important to allow open communication that makes them feel more valued and recognised for their contributions. Supporting students when they’re going through a hard time will energise their spirits and help maintain constructive behaviour over a longer time. Remind your child that you are on their side, and that they are not alone. Teach them that in every perceived failure, there is a lesson learnt. When your child says that he or she cannot do something, it may be helpful to offer words of encouragement that ensure them that they can.