Teaching kids is harder than ever: Kids have shorter attention spans, are frequently rebellious, and — being under constant pressure to succeed — often struggle with mental challenges. You may have witnessed your own child grapple with learning or have difficulties at school. As a concerned parent, you may need to proactively step in, troubleshoot their problems, and help smooth their way.
Here, AceReader covers 5 common challenges to kids’ learning and offers some suggestions for overcoming them:
- Reading comprehension
Understanding the written word is a difficult skill that many kids struggle with. It’s essential that they pick it up, though: Comprehension affects learning across the board, from math to literature and everything in between. Any difficulties with reading will hold up your child’s growth in every other area.
Parents can follow tried-and-tested reading comprehension strategies to teach their kids to read better. Some examples are storytelling, asking questions, visualizing, summarizing, and reading together with a partner. Picking up the AceReader reading tool can be worthwhile — it’s specially designed to teach your child how to read better. Furthermore, the tool offers valuable educational information on a range of subjects.
- Anxiety and stress
Learning and retaining information is a massive challenge when you’re burdened with persistent anxiety and stress. Many kids develop anxiety disorders due to challenges at home, school, and their environment, according to the CDC. Some examples are bullying, peer pressure, phobias, and fear of the future.
If this is your child, you’ll need to help them bolster their mental health and manage their stress levels. Get them professional treatment, put them on a nutritious diet, encourage them to pick up a sport or a hobby of some kind, soothe their fears, and just be there for them.
- Lack of motivation
A lack of motivation can be incredibly dangerous to your child’s potential. Not only does it affect their grades now, but it can cause gaps in foundational knowledge that can affect them for life. A lack of motivation can be caused by various reasons, such as low self-esteem, mental health challenges, learning disorders, lack of engagement, lack of desire, and a lack of academic skill.
To motivate your child, it’s important you trace the root cause of the problem and nip it in the bud. For instance, if poor nutrition is to blame, you could put them on a better diet. Motivating your child in other ways, such as explaining why studies are important, praising their achievements, encouraging them, asking them to maintain an achievements journal, and rewarding them, can help.
- Distractions and difficulty concentrating
The digital age is rife with distractions, many of which are overwhelming for children and make it hard for them to focus on what matters. Some common distraction are video games, smartphones, advertisements, and social media. According to a report in The Guardian, being distracted can cause your IQ to fall by 10 points and has long-term mental health implications. Furthermore, constant interruptions have the same effects as a night’s lost sleep.
Teaching your child how to focus will help them avoid distractions. Some suggestions from experts are asking them to do one thing at a time, providing an organized workspace, making a to-do list, setting aside time for homework, making a study list, and getting them to practice mindfulness. Sometimes it’s better to work with the distraction instead of against it — encourage your child to take a mini break, so they can come back refreshed.
- Bad behavior and attitude
Bad behavior — refusing to follow instructions, playing truant, being the “bad guy or bad girl,” poor language, being too cool for school, and bullying — is a major roadblock to education. It can cause your child to be unpopular with their teachers and peers. If left unchecked, bad behavior could translate over into adulthood, causing many problems.
Parents can improve a child’s behavior in several ways: Communicating with them regularly, setting expectations, rewarding desirable behavior, solving problems together, and letting them express their feelings. Sometimes setting boundaries in a firm yet gentle manner is necessary (and can teach a child to set boundaries on their own behavior).
Are you a natural teacher?
If you’re feeling inspired by helping your child and guiding their development, you could be a natural teacher. You could put your talents to good use in a classroom setting, grooming young minds and doing meaningful work. You could pursue an online program for teachers. This may help you become an educator at your convenience in your spare time. You could learn useful subjects like instructional practice, learner development, and innovation. And you could use this knowledge to benefit your own child.
Remember: kids learn best by emulating their parents. You’ll have an easier time getting your child to learn if you learn with them and exhibit the behaviors you want them to exhibit. Spending time with your child and being there for them when they need you can also encourage them to learn and grow.
Lacie Martin is a writer who created Raise Them Well to help inspire parents to raise their children well by prioritizing love over everything else. She firmly believes that all moms and dads raising kids who know they are loved and cared for are successful parents.