Although some students seem to breeze through school without any difficulty whatsoever, it seems that others have to work much harder to achieve the same success. Still others? Well, it seems they don’t want to try at all! If you find yourself in the latter boat, I’m here to discuss with you some possible reasons why your child won’t study, as well as to give you some suggestions for things you can try in order to change this behavior.
Help! Why Won’t My Child Study?
Although each student who faces this issue probably has unique reasons for why he or she refuses to study or put effort into his or her education, I was influenced by an interesting post I read from the “Empowering Parents” website that I think rings very true. In this post, the author, James Lehman, makes the case that it can sometimes seem that children who refuse to study lack motivation. This idea, he claims, is actually untrue. And I tend to agree: everyone is motivated by something; however, the trick in many cases is discovering what that something is.
Some students may be motivated by reading, others by art, and even others by physical activity. Two other major factors that spring to mind are also defiance or even fear. Yes, in many cases, your child may be motivated by saying “no” to or avoiding you or a teacher, and he or she could be spending all of his or her effort in this area. Many other students might also be motivated by the fear of failure, so they avoid even trying in the first place.
The trick here is to find what else motivates your child and start your focus there. One tip that I think is most helpful is to have a continuous dialogue with your child about life and his or her future. As we all know, communication is key (or at least the first step) to solving most of the problems that we face.
If we start a running dialogue with our children from a young age that encourages them to think about their choices and their future lives, we could go a long way in stoking their motivation to take charge of their own success and education. This behavior also gets your child in the habit of and feeling comfortable with speaking to you about his or her wants and needs, which can make more serious future conversations much easier when they occur.
Keep in mind, these conversations should be just that: conversations. They should not put pressure on your child, and they should not be about you. They can even be as brief as a sentence or two. Does your child have an interest in soccer, for example? Does he or she want to play soccer in high school, or even in college? This is something that motivates your child! Encourage this idea, and explain that you want the same success for your child.
Also encourage him or her to think about what will be needed in order to achieve that goal. In this case, most programs require that students maintain a certain grade point average to participate in athletics. Allowing your child, through casual conversations about his or her life and choices, to come to his or her own conclusion about what he or she needs to do to succeed, can help motivate him or her without feeling too much pressure or as though he or she is being “told what to do.”
If you are looking for more specific suggestions, you might consider tutoring or an after-school enrichment program, depending on your child’s specific needs. You can also check out my previous post about suggestions for how to make your child do his or her homework! No matter what you try, though, I wish you and your child success!
What do you think? Does your child refuse to study? What have you done to encourage better habits? Have any of the options listed above worked for you? Not worked? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Author: Emily Karth, Writer and Teacher at A Grade Ahead