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Helping kids succeed in school is at the top of the to-do list for every parent – whether it’s back-to-school time or anytime!

Kids struggle with new classroom environments, lesson topics, changing social groups, and peer pressure every year. Moreover, somewhere in the back of our adult heads, we think our kids are strong, smart, and capable of tackling just about anything. That’s not always the case, which is why parents need to help.

How parents handle the situation motivates the child to try it, builds character, and makes a better parent. Although it may look like a similar situation from another sibling or even school memories from your past – things have changed. Parents can help children by figuring out what works best for them a child.

Here are some school challenges kids encounter, along with working solutions to help remedy the problem. Keep in mind there’s room for adjustments in every situation – sometimes, the parents get the answer. In other instances, teachers become excellent learning resources, and if you listen to your kid, you’ll be surprised when they tell you what they need.

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Struggling with classroom work

Somewhere throughout the school year, children hit a wall. The size of the impression usually correlates to the amount of difficulty the child is experiencing. As hard as it may seem, parents must put personal feelings of disappointment or anger aside.

This is about the child, who may be suffering in silence. Ask yourself a few questions. Keep in mind the focus is on getting the child back on track.

  • Have you noticed a change in attitude?
  • Grades slipping?
  • Missing homework assignments?
  • Lesson topics are not making sense.
  • Change in social behaviors?

Decreased classroom attention and participation

It’s common for kids to lose focus after the holidays or vacations. The days of sleeping in and having fun occupy and distract a kid’s attention when they return to the classroom. Occasionally, a problem is a child’s secret and a burden or handicap. Without a hand to hold or an ear to listen to, kids find themselves in more trouble with no idea how to fix it. They need a parent to help get them through the situation.

  • Are there changes at home – solitude or withdrawal from family gatherings?
  • Friends stopped coming by to visit.
  • Notice a difference in personal interests?

Time to have a casual, not emotional, conversation. Start with asking simple questions, not investigative types. Allow the child to lead the discussion.

  • Is anything new in school?
  • What’s going on?
  • Input in critical – Got any idea of how you can change what’s happening?
  • Can you help?

Find out what is causing the change – the why and when will spill out

As hard a child may try to keep their struggle a secret, there are too many clues that finally break the silence. A parent may notice the child’s frustration, and the teacher occasionally sees the change in work quality or inconsistent behavior.

And if you ask the child why they didn’t say something – the response is usually – I don’t know or a shoulder shrug.

Parents need to talk to their kids. Let them know you notice some changes. Did the teacher contact you? Always share this information with your child. Here’s an opportunity to build trust between you and your child.

  • Ask what’s causing the change.
  • Listen and offer assistance – be sure both agree with the answer.
  • Set some ground rules to help turn the situation around.

Be prepared with a plan. For example, you will check homework and stay in touch with the teacher. Let the child know if they have questions or find a lesson difficult – you’re there. If you don’t know the subject matter, you’ll find a source that does.

Rewards and acknowledgments – nothing motivates school performance more

Who doesn’t enjoy a thank you – well done – congratulations! Parents need to acknowledge a child for doing a good job on homework, assigned chores or tasks, or for good manners. However, it’s essential to explain why the reward is given. Please ensure a child understands the award is for making an effort and doing their best.

  • Accomplishments don’t have to be a Pulitzer Prize
  • Let them know you support their effort
  • Kids need to be rewarded – it motivates them to do more

Acknowledge that they can obtain the results – you’re the cheerleader in their corner. Just as important – recognize the effort even if the goal isn’t reached.