When children don’t perform up to their potential in school, parents can become very concerned, and for good reason. But let’s first talk about the term “underachievement”, it’s when the child is seriously under performing and lacks motivation to complete simple assignments. One common sign of underachievement is a negative mindset. Many kids have an “I don’t care”, attitude and act as if they couldn’t care less about school. They may also play the blame game by blaming their problems on unfair teachers, but the bottom line is that kids often do care deep down inside and this negative mindset is really code for feeling overwhelmed and underprepared.
So often students want to do well but their skill set does not match the expectation and sometimes these underperforming students seem lazy or unmotivated but there is often an underlying learning problem or attention deficit that is causing school to be harder than it should be. Feeling as if they cannot do something gives them a bad association with schoolwork and homework. So many children go undiagnosed with some learning disabilities and attention deficit. These children could be brilliant with the right support so it is important to keep a close eye on them if you notice underachievement. These children might need some extra help in school from a certified instructor who can show them some ways to deal with their inabilities. These children may need to see a doctor to be tested. For children who are struggling from attention issues try making clear and simple lists daily for the next day. Have them check off each task they’ve completed and when they see the list at the end of the day, they will realise they have accomplished what they set out to do. This usually makes them feel very good about themselves because they physically see; they can do it after all. When they feel good about their accomplishments it gives them an extra boost of positivity and they want to work harder to see what else they can get done.
Children with inattention can actually be very bright and with the proper techniques and some consistency they may turn their records completely around. When it comes to different learning disabilities there are a large number of ways to teach and they all include a teacher trained in those methods at school. Every child is different and learns at a different level and speed. Have your child take a test at school to see what their specific learning style is. The different styles include Visual (spatial), Aural (auditory-musical), Verbal (linguistic), Physical (kinesthetic), Logical (Mathematical), Social (interpersonal), and Solitary (intrapersonal). Knowing how your child learns can open many doors for them. Not all underachievers have a mental block though, some other students are blocked in a battle of will with their parents, in these cases it’s often helpful for parents to take a step back and focus on the process of studying and completing homework rather than focusing solely on final grades. Just by taking the emphasis off getting an A or a B, parents can greatly reduce a significant amount of stress within the home.