Do you feel that something is amiss with your child’s performance?
Identify the source of poor performance
One major source of poor performance is the feeling of discouragement experienced by a child. Is this the reason why your child has performed badly? Perhaps something that happened in school or at home has discouraged your child. He may feel that, no matter what he does, no matter how hard he tries, he is bound to fail or never be good enough to gain either his teacher’s or his parents’ approval.
Assess what the subjects are in which your child has failed to meet expectations. Ask your child for his feedback on his performance and use “active listening” with a patient and nurturing tone. Also, examine other factors that may have contributed to the poor results. For instance, poor study tactics, poor memory, poor concentration, non-conducive study environment or unhappiness he may be experiencing unbeknownst to you.
If he has been taking up tuition for quite sometime (or even years) but has not been producing consistent improvement, the areas to examine are his attitude towards learning and his study habits. Constantly work with your child to find out if he is happy with his tutor, why his lessons aren’t helping him improve, etc.
Parents get frustrated when their child does not produce results after investing in many enrichment and tuition programs but overlook the fact that the child may simply lack the know-how to study, in which case he might be simply going through the motion of endless tuition sessions without taking anything away from them.
Have you unknowingly labelled your child with negative tags which were perhaps meant to spur him on to work harder? No matter how well-intentioned, calling a child “stupid” or “lazy” repeatedly cause him to start believing this and thus, he will give up or not bother to put in any effort.
Thus, these remarks serve to reinforce the negative behaviours associated with such traits:
“She is a slow learner”,
“She is shy”,
“She always fails Chinese”,
“What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you get better results?”,
“You are useless”.
The irony in this reverse psychology is that in using a negative label such as “shy”, parents are actually motivating their child to be shy.
Parents must stop making comparisons when it comes to their children.
Each child is different and has his or her own distinctive strengths and weaknesses. The child should also be reassured that his parents acknowledge and accept both his strengths and weaknesses.
Encourage and nurture
Help your child try.Your child trying his hardest is already an achievement – a positive habit that must be developed and reinforced. Reassure your child that, the harder she tries, the easier it will get, and the better her results will be.
Also, tap into her strong points. Show faith and belief in your child – no matter what, and make sure you point out what areas he/she excels in. They may not produce fantastic academic results, but show them that you still appreciate their good behaviour, artwork, etc.
Equip your child with correct learning methods
Evaluating how your child learns will help you better understand why he has not performed well in the past. Identify gaps in the child’s learning and knowledge and find out how these gaps came about. Perhaps the child is not using the right techniques to study.
Help him find the element of “fun” in learning and thereby re-ignite his interest in his classes and subjects. Teach him to set goals, measure his progress, and celebrate steps of success together.
Choose a learning enrichment programme which can help your child build strong self-esteem, offering maximum personal attention (in a small class set of not more than 10 children), academic coaching, freedom and encouragement for students to express openly and participate actively.
Do not look for quick fixes
Any kind of improvement in your child, whether academic or otherwise, will take time. Be patient, masterpieces aren’t made overnight. Lay the foundation for long term, sustainable results and help your child build success habits and a positive mindset for life-long learning that will help him not just in school, but later in life as well.