Many parents, maybe even the majority of them find it difficult to motivate their child to be successful at school and get nice grades. Often intellectually gifted children do poorly for variety of reasons. However, there are many things you can do as a parent to help your child be more motivated and successful.
Reinforce Their Self-Confidence
Very often children don’t try to perform well because they feel like they don’t have the ability and are not expected to. So make sure you don’t send them the message that they are not academically talented. Tell them they are smart and capable of learning, and encourage them to use that potential. Don’t compare them to their siblings or friends. Point out their learning strengths and praise their good work. Be aware that at earlier age, confidence is even more important than grades, so don’t push him/her too hard to achieve results, rather encourage creativity and natural competitiveness.
Spend Some Time Studying Together
Teachers at school try their best, but with many children to take care of, they don’t always manage to give the most appropriate attention to each child. You can do that much better, since as a parent you have established so much more trust with your son/daughter. Maybe your child will be awesome at some subjects, but will need more help with others.
Don’t Put Too Much Pressure on Them
Don’t pressure your child to be the ‘best in class’ or to get perfect grades all the time. Children who are pressured to be perfect at school often develop perfectionist personality traits that may cause them unhappiness later in life and bad grades later on in some of the next years of their studies. Also, remember that your child’s physical and emotional health is much more important early on. When they grow up, and learn to be self motivated, they may behave much more differently.
Try to Make the Material Interesting
In reality the material that children have to learn is often presented in a boring way. You can make it more interesting by watching TV or Internet programmes related to the school material, reading interesting facts and playing quizzes and games.
Make Sure They Don’t Suffer from Mental and Emotional Problems
Children won’t feel motivated to achieve a lot in school if they are struggling with mental and emotional problems. If you notice that your child who was once doing well suddenly starts to get low grades and act different ask them if they have any problems and encourage them to talk about it even if they resist at first.
Read to Your Child and Teach Him\Her How to Read from an Early Age
Try to make your child interested in reading in books, even when he\she is too young for school. Research has shown that children who learn how to read in their earlier years, develop better language skills and verbal memory, and therefore achieve better at school, since school has a lot to do with reading and memorizing.
Make Sure Your Child Has the Right Environment
Everyone needs a comfortable and a quiet environment to study. Make sure your child has a studying room that will be a good environment with minimal distractions. Make sure their computer and phone are off or away when they are studying.
Help them Develop Studying Habits
It’s good for children to know when the appropriate time for going to bed or doing homework is and when they can relax and enjoy free activities. Limit the time they spend watching TV and encourage them to take a responsible approach. Reward them for a good study effort or completed homework with access to the computer, TV or their favorite sport, food, etc.
Not every child responds well to academic and intellectual pursuits, but that is nothing to worry about. Different kids, have different levels of engagement at different periods of their life. The role of the parent is to be supportive and encouraging, you are the person that has the best opportunity to watch closely your child and learn what his interests, strengthens and weaknesses are. Encourage him/her to work even harder at his/her strong points and eventually they will become self motivated and you will be surprised at how successful they will become.