Parenting is no easy feat, especially when you have more than one child. The tasks gets even more demanding when you discover that each child has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. The differences become even more apparent during their years spent in school. So, how do you approach the situation when one child clearly struggles in school, while the other child excels? The temptation to compare the siblings’ progress against one another; or to even compare it to your own experiences in school is real. Often the child not excelling academically is fighting a battle on two fronts; home and school. So, how do you support a child that’s not excelling academically?
- The obvious, stop comparing them to their siblings.
- Research and take advantage of any available support at the school or in the community.
- Acknowledge and reward their progress.
- Research available post-graduation options because not every child wants to or are equipped to attend college.
- Find out how your child likes to learn because understanding their learning style can make tutoring more effective.
- Develop a good relationship with their teacher(s) and keep the lines of communication open. Doing this can help you as the parent tackle any problems early on.
- Find out what their environment is like at school. Are they being bullied. Do they not feel safe at school? Both scenarios can impact a child’s performance.
- Consider your investment in their education. Do you attend school functions, chaperone on field trips, volunteer, etc. Your presence can make a big difference.
Those are just a few things that we can do as parents. Speaking from my own experiences, I didn’t excel in school until I reached college. I’m sure I frustrated my parents plenty of nights, especially on report card day. As I watch my own kids grow and mature, I’m noticing they are all taking different paths, some involve college and some don’t. Never give up and as parents we are our child’s first advocate. Take care and enjoy the summer!
Janet Michelle xoxo