When children are not able to meet the minimum academic standards at school it can be equally devastating for them as well as their parents or guardians.
It is easy as a parent to feel helpless, angry and fraught with worry. Thankfully, there are many positive steps you can take to get your child back on track:
1. Reframe failure as feedback
It is important to teach children from an early age that failure, whilst not the ideal in life, is a normal part of learning and growing.
We must always accept and embrace our children in success and in failure.
When we instead become angry and harsh every time they fail, (and there will be many times), children tend to withdraw and may hide or alter their marks out of fear of being found out.
It is important to treat failure not as a permanent, irreparable state, but as feedback that informs us where the child is lacking and how they can do better in future. Such a healthy approach instills honesty and self-confidence, and motivates the child to perform at their very best.
2. Take positive action
Be inquisitive about your child’s learning environment; find out if there are any distractions at home or at school preventing them from doing well.
Meticulously account for your child’s activities and time management: for example you could reduce or convert the time they spend with gaming gadgets on in front of the television into study time.
Model good behaviour for your children and create a stable, safe and comfortable environment for them at home.
It is important to treat failure not as a permanent, irreparable state, but as feedback that informs us where the child is lacking and how they can do better in future
Work together with the teachers, get feedback on how the child is doing in class and make use of extra lessons where possible. Follow up to ensure that homework is done on time to discourage laziness and procrastination. Encourage your children to prepare well and work twice as hard during examination time.
It is the parent’s responsibility to be hands-on in their children’s lives if they are to be successful individuals. Encourage your child to ask for help whenever in need and be available for them.
3. Give them a pat on the back
Praise and reward your child when they improve even by a tiny mark. This will encourage the child to continue to do better. Celebrate your child’s good points.
Always think laterally, focus on where else the child is really doing well and magnify that. This will surely give them a boost and act as a springboard for better marks in other areas in future.
4. Never compare your child to another
Where you have two or more children, it is very important how you handle their different results as a parent. Comparing your child against another will only make them feel inadequate and you will do more harm than good.
Children do not possess the same strengths and abilities. Celebrate one’s good points without making reference to the other’s weaknesses. Encourage the one slacking behind, without making reference to the other’s successes and encourage your children to help each other with the school work.