Thank you for visiting Adventures In Parenting - where we talk about raising good kids.

Subscribe to RSS feed to get my latest posts, sign up for a newsletter, and join me on Facebook!

Win $50 for children's formal wear! Enter here.

What to do with the underachiever

October 9th, 2008

The school year just started, and my daughter is already bringing home progress reports.

I’ve talked to many frustrated parents who have underachieving children. Their kids are bringing homes low grades, but they could be doing so much better at school if they’ll only apply themselves!

What can parents do to help the underachiever?

1. I can tell you what does not work. Nagging and threatening does not turn an underachiever into a good student. In fact, it just demoralizes your child, drive a wedge in your relationship with him, and frustrate yourself in the process. When you catch yourself lecturing and temperatures rising, just STOP… Shut your mouth…And give your child a hug and a kind word instead. That will go a long way in encouraging him to try harder.

2. It’s better to get outside help than tutoring your child yourself. My friend who is an accomplished pianist hires a piano teacher for her kids. It seemed to me a waste of her talents and her money. But it makes sense that her children does not take her assignments seriously as they would a stranger, and she admits she has too high expectations that makes her impatient with her children.

I suggest getting a tutor for an underachieving student. It will save your relationship with your child.

3. Be nice to your child’s teacher. Honestly, in a class of 20 or 30 students, no matter how good the teacher, your child could escape the notice of the teacher.  So here’s the trick to insure your child gets the teacher’s attention and some extra help – write kind notes to the teacher, and give him a small token of appreciation once in a while. A $5 gift card to Starbucks, a coupon to a bookstore, or some homemade cookies are always appreciated (if you are a teacher reading this, tell me if this isn’t so).

I am a substitute teacher, and I testify that being a teacher is hard work! A little encouragement will go a long way in keeping the teacher in a good mood while giving extra help to your child.

4. Continue to expect great things from your underachiever. Remember the classic examples of Einstein, Edison, Eleanor Roosevelt and others who started out slow. Each child is an individual who just may not fit well into the academic classroom mold. Don’t write him off. Continue to encourage him and he may surprise you.

Photo by cliff1066

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


  1. i love this site thank you thank you very much


Leave A Comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>