Is Your Child Struggling at School

A large number of kids will have difficulties in school at some point in their academic careers and it is common for all of us to have strengths in some areas while experiencing difficulties in others. There is however, a difference between normal challenges and children who are struggling overall to perform well or up to par. Many parents will have to contend with wondering whether their own child is facing these challenges. Although painful to see, there are some signs that your child may be one of them. Here are a few things that can tip off parents that their child may be struggling or having difficulties.

Poor Report Cards
One of the most obvious signs that your child may be struggling in school is the presence of poor grades on their report card. This is especially true if that child historically earned good grades and suddenly their report card reflects much lower grades than you have come to expect.

A report card with poor grades can be a sign of several things. It could simply mean that your child has encountered a subject that may not come naturally to them or they may have difficulty with. If this is the case, there are plenty of options available to help you and your child improve. Sometimes you child simply needs some extra help in a particular subject or may need a one on one tutor for additional support.

If however they are failing a course they normally perform well in or are failing numerous courses, this could be a sign that something else is amiss. Performing under par in several subjects could be a sign that your child is having trouble focusing and concentrating in class, may be experiencing some emotional difficulties or may be placed in a class level that is too advanced for them.

Behavioral Issues
Parents are generally in tune with their child’s behaviors and what the norms are. If your child is suddenly exhibiting behavioral issues and patterns that are outside their normal tendencies, it is probable that they may be struggling in school. Children often feel intense pressure to compete and stay on course with their own performance at school in comparison to their peers and often when they are having trouble maintaining grades or doing well they will begin to exhibit uncharacteristic behaviors such as acting out in class or becoming disruptive.

Other times they may start to challenge authority whereas in the past they had appropriate rapports with those authority figures. In severe cases some children begin to harass or bully other peers as a way to express their frustration or feel empowered because they know their academic work is lacking.

They may keep these behaviors at school or you may notice some unfavorable behaviors at home such as becoming argumentative, refusing to complete chores or exerting an overall lack in motivation. These are all signs that there may be issues at school.

Influx in Homework
Parents can learn a lot about their children’s academic life by paying close attention to their homework practices and habits. Although homework policies will differ from school to school and certainly from grade to grade, understanding the average amount of homework your child is assigned is important.

If your child suddenly has long bouts of no homework or they suddenly have an obscene amount that seems uncharacteristic, this could be a sign that they are struggling in school. The lack of homework could mean that your child has simply given up trying or is lacking in motivation to bring it home. Should the amount increase to an alarming rate, it is possible they have fallen behind and are trying to catch up.

If it is only a matter of them taking longer to complete assignments but they have the same amount as is usually expected, this could be a sign that they are having difficulty grasping the subject and may need additional help and support.

Staying in contact with their teacher so you can have a clear idea of how much homework is assigned and how long the assignments should take to complete is a good way to gauge if this is a trouble area for your child.

Physical Ailments
When we become stressed or worry constantly our bodies will often react in ways that are unusual as a way to alert us and those around us that something is off. If your once healthy child suddenly begins showing signs of discomfort or reports ailments that are unusual, this could mean they are having trouble at school.

While an occasional headache is normal, frequent headaches or stomach aches are not. It may be that your child is complaining of ailments that aren’t visible to you and may request to miss school often or asks to visit the school nurse frequently. In cases where no symptoms can be found or identified and health issues have been ruled out by a professional you may want to look at struggles at school as being the problem.

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