Every parent wants their child to succeed. While definitions of "success" differ from family to family, I think it's fair to say that parents want what is best for their kids, and that includes whatever will help them do well later in life. School can play a significant role in this process.
Owing to the fact that every child is an unique, how they perform in school is as varied as the students themselves, and schools simply cannot address each individual need. While most students fall in with the group and do just fine, some kids perform at a different level and may find learning the material or paying attention more challenging. It is important to keep in mind that this not necessarily a sign of a problem, but may stem from the child's interest in the material or their learning style. Extenuating circumstances such as their situation at home, extra-curricular activities, social life, and even gender might also play a role.
Whatever the reason, how they perform in school can influence how a student perceives their own abilities and their self-esteem. It can lead to boredom, frustration, and even anger that may impact their level of confidence in other areas as well as their standing amongst their peers. It is therefore important to remember that if our child is struggling in school, as a parent we can make a difference in helping our kids get through these difficulties.
Parental involvement has both practical and emotional benefits that can instill your child with the confidence to assert themselves. Parents can relay this message by showing genuine concern and taking the time to check their work and talk it over with them.
Exhibiting frustration and impatience tells your kids that they're burdening you with their needs and will make them reluctant to seek out your help. Helping your kids takes time and patience on the part of both student and teacher, which in this instance is you.
Celebrate Their Strengths
Help build your child's self-esteem by recognizing strengths and interests. Every child is stronger at certain subjects than others, so show them you're aware of these strengths while addressing areas that require more attention.
Investigate the Situation
Before jumping to any conclusions about your child's circumstances or abilities, find out what really is going on. Sometimes the solution is a simple one, but even if it requires greater attention, understanding the problem is the first step in finding a solution.
Talk to Their Teacher
Talking to the teacher will help to clarify what the situation is in school while sending the right message to your child that you want to make a difference, ultimately helping to motivate your child to reach their academic goals.
Discover Their Learning Style
Children have different learning styles and sometimes figuring things out simply boils down to how you approach it. Talk it over with your child and their teachers to better understand the best approach to learning.
Create a Plan
Once you've identified the problem area, it is time to take action. Being organized will help to ensure that problems get addressed and will add structure and regularity to your approach.
Let Them Figure Things Out
It is a mistake to simply do the work for your kids. Children need to figure things out themselves, without too much intervention on our part. This helps them learn the material and gives them a sense of accomplishment, thus building their confidence.
Parents should avoid falling into the trap of comparing their own children with other kids, keeping in mind every child has their own strengths and weaknesses and don't need the added pressure of comparisons.
Don't Validate Their Frustration
Avoid telling your kids that you weren't a good student, either. This is not only unnecessary, but it sends the wrong message and may encourage them to simply give up.
Let Them Know You're Human
Everyone makes mistakes, and the better we are at dealing with them, the more we can learn from them. When our kids see us stumble but roll with it, it teaches important lessons about resiliency as well as not being afraid of making mistakes in the first place.
Learning is a special experience for both kids and adults, but there are always challenges to this process. Being involved in your kids education can help make it a more rewarding experience for everyone while reducing the level of anxiety and frustration.