Written by Russ Gadzhiev, PhD
“I may not be able to give my kids everything they want, but I give them what they need: love, time, and attention. You can’t buy those things.” – Nishan Panwar
“By loving them for more than their abilities, we show our children that they are much more than the sum of their accomplishments.” – Eileen Kennedy-Moore
“Encourage and support your kids, because children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.” – Lady Bird Johnson
A school is an important place for the development of your child’s personality as well as preparing them for their future life. Indeed, school is a place where they receive knowledge and learn to do things. A school is a place where they learn how to interact with other people and gain important communication skills. School is a micro world where students are “rehearsing” their adult life.
Although school is undoubtedly a place where many students are feeling happy, they can still face some serious problems. These problems can vary from struggling with subjects to having difficulties getting along with peers and making friends. In this short article, we are going to examine the most common study problems that your child may be facing at school. As a parent, of course, it would be desirable for you to be aware of what these problems are so that you can easily identify and fix them.
Students Struggle Due to Low Motivation
Some parents, unfortunately, tend to define low motivation as “laziness”. Sometimes they even reprimand their children for being “lazy”. But the truth is that there is no such thing as “laziness”. In fact, laziness usually implies a lack of motivation. If your child is lacking the internal impetus to learn and work hard at school, it will be difficult for them to pass exams and further transition into the realm of higher education. Therefore, it is crucial to identify the reasons why your child is not feeling motivated or experiencing low motivation. One needs to remember that the reasons accounting for low motivation vary from person to person.
Of course, one of the most common reasons for low motivation is that your child is simply feeling tired or stressed when they are facing too many school assignments. They can be overwhelmed and simply at a loss not knowing where to start. Another reason for students’ low motivation is that they are distracted by other things that seem more interesting to them. Sometimes students may think that the subject they are studying is just dull and that is why their motivation for doing anything is low. In more serious cases, they may have some animosity toward the teacher for some reason. If this is the case, it is important to find out what triggers this animosity and what can teachers and parents do to ameliorate it.
Another common reason for students’ lack of motivation is that there are other things happening in their life. Students are human beings. Although most of their time should be focused on studies, it would be naïve to believe that there may be nothing in their life that could occupy their thoughts. When it comes to students’ life outside school, students should not be pushy. They should be very careful and gentle about trying to find out what else may be happening in their children’s life.
Finally, your child may simply be anxious. Anxiety is a very treacherous condition that can disguise itself in many unexpected forms. And anxiety should not be dismissed as something insignificant. In our articles, we have talked about anxiety, and we have underscored the need to take this phenomenon seriously. Unfortunately, anxiety is very common among young people – this fact has been proven by various phycological studies. Furthermore, it may have a very debilitating effect on one’s life to the point of rendering a person unable to study. So, if your child is feeling unmotivated, the underlying reason for that may well be the fact that they are anxious. And if they are anxious, they need help of course.
What can you do as a parent to help your child overcome these situations? First, it would be useful if you could give some motivational support to your child. Maybe you can tell them about some famous people who struggled with their careers in the beginning but then achieved worldwide success. Some of their stories can be quite relatable and motivational per se.
You can tell them that you love them no matter what and that you will always support them. Make sure your child is having a balanced diet that is low in sugar. Sugar is particularly insidious sometimes as it indeed may make you feel energetic and active at first, only to deprive you of all your energy later. So, make sure your child does not eat a lot of sugar. Proper and timely hydration is important too. In fact, some parents may underestimate the importance of healthy dieting.
Your child Dislikes the Subject They Are Studying
There are many subjects in school curricula – some of them will be liked by students, and some of them will be disliked. It is inevitable. Some students may find some subjects boring. Others may worry that they are not good at it. Some may think that the subject will not do you any good in the future and that is why it is pointless to study it at all. Perhaps, your child is not happy because their teacher does not seem inspiring enough to them to make them fully present and engaged in class. Again, if you think that the root of the problem is the unsatisfactory relations between your child and the teacher, you can address this problem by discussing possible solutions with the teacher.
If you think your child for some reason believes that they are hopeless at the subject, then you need to find out why. Perhaps, they had a bad grade which demotivated them. You can explain to them that if they devote some more time to studying perhaps, they will get better at it and then eventually be able to get a good grade that will further motivate them.
If you feel that the subject which your child finds uninteresting is important, you can do something to stimulate their interest. Find a documentary on the subject and watch it together. Or give your child examples of how this subject may be useful to them in real life.
Your Child May Lack The Resources Required for Studying
Sometimes parents think that they have provided their children with everything they need for school. Are you sure that your child has all the books required for their course? Does your child have a dedicated study place at home? Does your home provide the right environment for them to study? Sometimes if the TV is too loud, your child may be distracted and not willing to do homework. Maybe your child is simply lacking stationary. Do not let go of all these seemingly small things unnoticed as they may snowball into motivational problems. The good news is that problems with resources are easier to fix – you just need to know what your child requires.
It is important to understand that the problems that we have discussed in this article can be overcome with the help of understanding and sympathetic parents. Parents who believe that anxiety is not a problem, but a child’s whim will not only make their own child feel more isolated but will potentially exacerbate the problem. Parents who believe that their child should only be focused on their studies without acknowledging the fact that they may have some other personal things going on in their life will not be able to help their child either.
What we need to strive to do is foster the right mindset in our children. We need to foster positivity in them and the understanding that whatever problems may have they will always be able to resolve them. Importantly, as a parent, you must always support your child and demonstrate to them that you will stand by their side no matter what. If your child feels loved and appreciated, they will always be able to achieve success in life and overcome problems that may feel unsurmountable at first.
Russ Gadzhiev obtained his PhD in history and politics from University of Melbourne. He also holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Moscow State University of International Relations, a top-ranking diplomatic school. Russ is a strong education professional with a history of working in the higher education sector of Australia and effectively communicates with learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. He is enthusiastic about teaching and mentoring, writing, curriculum development, research, information management and public speaking. He is fluent in Russian, English, Spanish and Portuguese.