What to Do When Your Kids Are Struggling in School

By Evan Fischer
Sponsored Guest Contributor

It’s always tough to watch your child struggle in school. If certain subjects give them fits, if they’re being bullied, or if they just feel overwhelmed in general, the key is to get them help before the problem gets too big. Here are some things to try when your child is having a hard time.

Always stay calm. Whether your child brings home a report card full of D’s and F’s or a black eye given to them by Joey from across the street, no matter what, try to stay calm. Any situation that is less than ideal can whip any good parent into a tizzy. But regardless of your state of mind, the best thing to do is stay calm.

Once more for emphasis: Stay Calm.

It’s alright if you need to put a little distance between yourself and the sheet of paper that spells “DFFCDF” for an evening. If you stay relaxed, your teen will be much more willing and able to work through the problem with you. Likewise, if the problem is external, like in the case of bullying, try to remain calm as you get the story from your teen. Don’t make them feel like they need to hide anything from you for fear of you storming over to Joey’s house with a baseball bat. You want your child to be able to talk freely about whatever it is that is going on at school and the best way to do that is to make them feel calm by remaining so yourself.

Accept your child for who they are and the fact that they are a different person than you. It is quite possible that your child is a much better writer than they are a mathematician, for example. If you can, try to accept this (an odd thing to say, but some parents really, really want their children to be something they are not). This does not excuse failing grades, however; your student might need a little extra help in a specific subject but, once their grades come up, even if it’s just to a C or B, be encouraging and accepting of the fact that they have tried and succeeded in getting a better grade.

Find solutions to problems with your child. You will be better able to help them work through problems if they believe there are ways to resolve them and have a partner. Communicating and sharing the burden with your children will help them to feel better about their abilities to make positive changes in their lives. Even if it is not just grades that are cropping up as a problem for your child, make sure your child knows you care and understand how hurt and distraught they must be feeling. Ask their opinion about how they’d like to handle the situation and try to respect the fact that your child might not want to handle things the way you would. If their solution is not going to cause harm to anyone, consider allowing your child to handle the situation as they see fit. Self-empowerment is a powerful thing.

Don’t worry so much about where your kid is going to get their online executive MBA or doctorate. Help them get through the tough times they are going through right now. If you have a middle school student, or a high school student, help them through the tough classes they are attending by simply making yourself available to them. With the right guidance and patience, the desire for higher education will follow as will a deeper and more meaningful relationship you.

About the Author:

Evan Fischer is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. He enjoys writing about the latest tech news for a variety of companies and discovering new and innovative gadgets.

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