Saturday, July 23, 2016

10 Ways to Help A Child Survive Academic Failure

At the end of every academic session, immediately after the promotional examinations, it is common for schools to organize graduation party and award ceremony to recognize students achievements.

And, this is the season when some parents becomes very excited and eager to flaunt the achievements of their brilliant children. You'll find hundreds of pictures of these children almost everywhere from facebook profile picture to instagram, to WhatsApp, BBM, and so on. Parents wants to show off their kids receiving awards and tell the world how much they've made mum and dad proud. Infact, some parents will go to the extent of sharing the testimonies in Church.

However, we have another set of parents who won't have any picture to show nor a reason to celebrate their kids. Reason? Their children didn't win any award. The child didn’t receive any accolades or recognition simply because he/she is an average student or sadly one of the pupils who would have to repeat class.

[Photo credit: EAphotoMedia]

Interestingly, there are more parents in this category. If you happen to be in the first category, congratulations! Remember to celebrate with moderation and thank God for his mercies. Then, it is very important you partner with your child to improve his/her performance or at least maintain it. On the other hand, if your child didn’t win any award and/or is mandated to repeat a class, I have a couple of ideas to share:

1.] Be Objective.
Note that this is the result for a session and not for a life time. It's a one year dash in the race of life. It's not a life time assessment. So, don't take the issue too serious than you should.

2.] Observe and Analyze.
A Students’ report card is a report of several activities. Most report cards focuses on two major area of performance namely, academics and skills/character. Don't focus only on the academics. The section on character and others are equally important. Take time to read the teacher's comments and recommendations. If you child has a major achievement in other areas aside academics, don't hesitate to celebrate him/her.

3.] Listen To Your Child.
Talk with the child. Ask what he or she thinks about the result. Thereafter seek joint problem-solving opportunities to improve the result. Remember to compose yourself very well before the discussion. As you discuss with your child, remember to watch out for what’s said and what’s not said.

4.] Get Teacher's Feedback.
Talk with the class/subject teacher(s). Get his/her views on the issue. Know his/her perspective on the child’s performance. Seek counsel on what to do to improve your child's overall academic performance.

5.] Get Your Facts Right.
Even till now, there's no conclusive research evidence on the benefit of children repeating a class. Therefore, if your child was asked to repeat a class, investigate that decision and ask the right questions. Will the child improve if he repeats the class? What support does the school have to manage his emotions or ego if he has to repeat? What support can you give as a parent?

6.] Develop An Action Plan.
Study the report card and determine what corrective actions to take. Remember it’s not YOUR Plan so ensure the child is involved in the development of the plan. Don’t rush him/her to develop the plan. Take it gradually. The plan should answer the basic question: What you intend to do to improve? Please ensure YOU (the parent) aren't the one doing everything. The child has a critical role to play. Remember the plan will include, what he needs to stop doing, what he needs to start doing, what he needs to reduce and what he needs to increase. As a parent, have it at the back of your mind that you also have roles to perform. You may consider teaching the child yourself during the holiday, getting a lesson teacher or even changing the school (if need be).

7.] Don't Overreact.
Manage your emotional state. Don't compare the child with others. Don't make his poor academic performance the subject of abuse or feedback. If at all you have to, be very careful what benefits or privileges you deny him of. How you handle this is very important. It can end up being a motivating or demotivating factor for your child.

8.] Be Hopeful and Inspire Hope.
Understand that every child deserves a second chance, and your child is not an exception. As parents, you're not permitted to give up on your child. You must be hopeful for a better future and give the child hope as well.

9.] Get To Work.
A good plan is not good enough until you act on it and achieve results. Start implementing the plans you've drawn out without further delay. You don’t have to wait until the end of the holiday before putting your plans to work. Start now! Keep track of your progress at interval (i.e. daily, weekly or monthly depending on what suits you).

10. Be Patient.
Don't expect sudden change. Progress requires time and consistency. If the change you expect don't come in one or two weeks, please don't be discouraged. Be supportive, be patient and treat your child like a GEM. Though it may seem slow, be assured he will blossom and at his own time. Sooner or later, you'll be amazed by how much your child has improved.

Written by:
Prof. Yomi Fawehinmi

[NOTE: The content of the above article has been re-edited, given new title and subheadings by Ebenezer O. Akinrinade. The name of the original author however remains intact as well as the source].

Article Source:
Child World Connect

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