Studies aren’t so much an ordeal

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Do you have a tough time making your child sit to study? Is his academic performance a major concern in your mind? First and foremost, find its cause. It may perhaps be:

  • Your ever-nagging attitude
  • Forced teaching
  • Excessive criticism
  • His health problems
  • Domestic disturbances
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of motivation
  • Learning disabilities like ADD/ ADHD or Dyslexia?

The day he’s born, the parents step into an entire wonderland of dreams and aspirations as if to make their child the best in the world. And when your child is unable to perform well, it hurts. The child means the entire world to them, and they begin to foresee a bleak future which is really very painful to them.

Kids with a poor scholastic performance should be screened for any learning disabilities (LD) by a Developmental Therapist during early childhood itself. If no LD is apparent, it’s not a bad memory or a low IQ. It may simply be a total lack of interest. In such a case, the whole brunt of the situation should not fall upon the child. It’s the positive attitude of the parents that will matter the most here, because they are the ones who have to be instrumental in motivating their child and moulding him into a responsible individual.

  • A word of praise and appreciation for every small achievement of your child, an applause for his obedience and goodness, gives the child the much-needed confidence and security. “I knew you could do it.” “Your Mom really loves you. You are the best child any Mumma could ever have.” Praise and encouragement help to:
    • build self-esteem
    • enhance pride
    • foster cooperation
    • build positive relationships
    • celebrate unique skills and abilities
    • assist kids during difficult or challenging times
  • For kids 4-6 years, play-way methods are fun, and help in developing interest in studies
  • Parents should lay down small reasonable targets for him, and aid him with a congenial environment to complete them
  • Reward him. Rewards and incentives are an excellent push to working harder, but they should not be monetary. Paper flowers, sponge balls, bookmarks, stars and stickers are a good choice.
  • Children should be taught to plan their own time-table to inculcate the sense of responsibility. Initially the mother should sit with her child and formulate time slots according to his/her own choice, simultaneously making him realize the infinite value of time.
  • He should be told to read topics over and over, by practicing memory skills -
    • 1 hour of study followed by a break of 10 min
    • Reading and learning, followed by revision the next day, and then after 7 days
    • Use of Pnemonics – make remembering easier.
    • Break information into small parts
    Any topic cannot be learnt completely in single go. Repetition is the key. Mothers tend to falter here wishing their child to narrate all what he is learnt perfectly that very day.
  • Revision is not about cramming. Each time it gives a better concept and understanding.
  • Reading aloud enhances concentration.
  • Tell your child to mark wherever he is facing problems with understanding or learning.
  • No child can study with TV on. Soft instrumental music in the background may be a soothing and de-stressing environment to aid learning.
  • Child should be given a small test after learning each chapter, followed by a test at the weekend, so that he realizes where his weaknesses lie, and can consolidate his concepts there and then.
  • If the child is finding it tough with Physics, he should be made to made to revise Physics of the previous class for complete 3 days, and then made to move ahead, for better clarity of the basics.
  • Teach him practically as much as you can. He’ll remember better. For instance, if he is to know what a seedling is, show him a wet soaked Bengal gram sprouting, indicating to the root, the shoot and the seed leaves, and that wheat has one seed leaf and gram has two.
  • No over-expectations, please!! Parents tend to burden already over-burdened kids. All children are not the same. There may be certain weak areas too, because each child has different aptitudes, capacities and capabilities.
  • Never humiliate your child saying, “You are good for nothing.” “You can never learn. ”, or by calling him names like ‘Dumb’ or ‘Idiot’
  • Positive re-inforcement from time to time, because appreciation is to kids what water is to flowers. Shower it on them and watch them grow!!
  • If a child can learn an address, a phone number, a song and can reach a particular place on his own, he has NO problems with his intellect, IQ or memory. He just needs to be motivated.
  • Develop a star system for your child. For example,
    • If he begins to sit at a place undistracted for an hour, give a star ( * )
    • If he reads a chapter, give another ( * )
    • If he learns the questions and answers, give one more ( * )
    • If he writes them down himself, one more ( * )
    • If he revises all the same the next day, give him 5 ( * * * * * )
    Count the number of stars he got in a week, and encourage him to get even more, because superheroes have to aim to achieve perfection. This would help to develop intrinsic motivation.
  • Judge him as an individual, by his overall performance, not only academics. If studies are made interesting from the very beginning through a blend of colours, puzzles, activities and use of highlighters to mark key points, they would just be a daily ritual done well than a headache for either the parents or the kids.