What to do if your Teen is Underperforming in School | Making Sense
June 30, 2017
It’s a well-known fact that Singapore’s education system can be insanely brutal.
The intensity and pace of study leaves even the most well-meaning and dedicated of students winded. One may find himself struggling to cope with the high level of academic competitiveness, the pressure of parental expectations, and the need to perform well even outside the academic realm, in the arena of extracurricular activities.
Photo: After The Rain
If your child is underperforming in school, what is the best way to help? Many Asian parents take on the ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’ mentality, choosing to discipline their children harshly. What if we told you there are alternatives to using the ro-tan that may prove useful, and perhaps even more effective?
1. Encourage your child to take time for self-care
Self-care means getting enough sleep and proper nutrition. Don’t force your child to complete yet another past-year-paper when you see that the kid is already falling asleep at his desk. Also, try to prepare nutritious food for your kid. Hawker food is convenient and affordable, but nothing beats home-cooked meals and snacks that come with less oil and salt. If home-cooking really isn’t doable, then educate yourself on what hawker foods are the most healthy.
2. Lower your goals
This doesn’t mean accepting slacking from your child. It means understanding that comparing your child with the best performing student in Singapore may do more harm than good, adding unnecessary burden to the already stressed-out creature. Instead, be satisfied with your child’s improvements, and his everyday, relentless pursuit to be better than the day before.
How do you know whether your child is improving? Do you know what is the difference between grades and percentile points? If you don’t, it’s probably time to…
3. Connect with your child
There really only is one way to go about this: Set time aside for parent-and-child conversations and bonding. Put down your phone at the dinner table, and talk.
This way, you get to understand your child and how he is faring in school. Next, you should make effort to shelf the criticism, and instead…
4. Praise your child
If he is performing well in non-academic activity, make sure to praise and encourage his talent. There are many other things to be proud of, asides from academic work.
5. Get help from a professional tutor
The thing is, there are only so few hours in a day. Lagging behind by one chapter turns quickly into two, then three, and then four… Your child tries to catch up, but is just so backlogged in his work and short on time. He may be too paiseh or stubborn to admit that some tutorage might be helpful.
Suggest to your child that he take up tuition. The right tutor will add value to your child’s academic routine. You will want one that is time-effective and can impart nifty and effective methodologies and tips that your child digests quickly and easily. Extra help is not embarrassing but can be helpful, or even necessary for your child.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to do as a parent is to be there for your child. Learn to recognise your child’s needs and respond adequately.
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Cover photo: suaranews