7 Things to Do When Responding to Your Child’s Academic Failure
Obviously, there are no easy answers as to what you should do when your child is failing academically. It is vitally important that parents and teachers not give up on struggling students, no matter how daunting the challenge might be. However, sometimes it can be helpful for parents, educators, etc. to take a break and step back for a while so that they can evaluate the situation with a clear head. It is not uncommon for those involved to become so emotionally entangled in a situation that they lose sight of what is really important and what steps need to be taken to help the student improve academically.
In this piece, I want to discuss 7 things that parents should do when responding to their child’s academic failure. To respond to academic failure, parents with school-aged children should:
- Take some time every day to focus on other aspects of their lives, such as friends, hobbies, education, etc. that don’t involve thinking about the child’s problems. Such a breather will help lessen any resentment they may feel toward the child and assist in preventing burnout.
- As often as possible, try to focus on what the child does well in school—either academically, athletically, etc. It’s easy to become so wrapped up in the problems of your children and overlook their wonderful qualities and the things they do right every day. Parents should encourage their children to recognize their strengths and feel good about themselves. Children need to know that their parent’s love is unconditional, even if acceptance of their behavior is not.
- Work with teachers, counselors, and others in the community to maximize opportunities for the child to interact with those who can provide education, guidance, and mentoring.
- Provide enjoyable activities in which the child excels—in computers, sports, the performing arts, etc.—to boost self-esteem and resiliency.
- Talk to the child about what needs to improve academically and behaviorally in a non-threatening manner.
- Consider other educational alternatives, such as homeschooling, outside tutoring, therapy, etc.
- Provide positive feedback to teachers and administrators who work with the child, as this will motivate them to do even more to assist them.
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