How to Motivate an Underachieving Child?

The classroom can be a very competitive environment. Being judged by teachers, ostracized by students and self-comparisons can leave the child in a state of self-detesting. This can only cause further damage as the child may find himself or herself in self-sabotaging actions. During such times, you have to take care of your child with utmost sensitivity.

Child India

Below are some of the ways to motivate an underachieving child:-

Just a passing phase- This is just a temporary phase for the child and you. A digression here and there can be easily handled and the child can be brought back on the right path. Let the child know that the trajectory of life is not a straight line.

Accept the child without judging- This is a critical time for the child as well you. Remember to love the child unconditionally even at such times without judging him. You must understand that the child is merely unable to perform due to some reasons. It is just a part of the child’s life in which he is not performing well.

Do not compare– Comparison is the biggest monster in the society. At a time when the child is performing poorly, you can either compare her to someone performing better than her or worse; the former will make the child feel less of herself while the latter will make the child accept her position without finding anything wrong with it.

Use motivational stories– History is flooded with stories of people who have risen from the ashes. Make it a point to tell the child such stories so that she can relate and draw courage from them.

Break the work into small chunks– It is worthwhile to break the work into smaller chunks esp. if it seems unmanageable on the face of it. The smaller tasks will be easier for the child to achieve. You can even reward her on the completion of every chunk.

6. Remind the child: ‘Never give up’–  The child should be told repeatedly to not to give up. The wall will be built brick by brick and there will be moments when it crashes entirely. Let the child learn to pick up the broken pieces and build it again without losing heart.

Move from ‘strength to strength’– This requires you to filter out the portions in which the child is already performing well and then improving in other areas. This is a very useful way of learning!

Constructive Criticism– Never tell the child: “You are bad in studies.” Instead tell him:”You are not able to perform well but over time you will be able to.” If you blame the child for underachievement, you will only cause much sorrow in him and push him away from studies as her performance would suffer further. The child might even develop a fear of studies.

With the help of the aforementioned steps, with your patience and understanding, the child will soon be able to pick himself up!


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