How to help your child when their grades are slipping?

Slipping grades are not always an accurate indication of how hard your child is trying, how much they are learning, or what their potential for success later on in life is. With this in mind, we should not overreact but what should we be doing as parents?

A highly successful, international, independent school in Marbella suggests the following advice on what to consider and how you can support your child…

A drop in school performance can be worrying for any parent; however, it is something many children go through at some point during their education, and it is often nothing to be overly concerned about. That said, it is important to establish the reason why, and most importantly to rule out any underlying serious cause.

Sometimes the cause of a slip in school grades can be extremely obvious: your child might have started a new school, is having some friendship issues, is not getting enough sleep or is possibly spending too much time participating in afterschool activities.  

Raise your concerns with the school and speak to your child’s teachers. Teachers can often provide valuable insight into what is happening at school. You may be advised on steps you can take at home to support your child or advised for example,  that some extra tuition could be the answer. Possibly there are some small gaps that need bridging to help get your child back on track. Tuition can also help support your child’s confidence and self-esteem which can sometimes be the cause of slipping grades.  

When children are experiencing emotional upset, such as bullying, or are dealing with a mental health issue like anxiety, it can be hard for your child to open up to their parent and it is not always apparent to a teacher. It is important to be mindful of this.

A drop in grades could also indicate a more serious problem such as an undiagnosed condition such as ADHD, problems with hearing or sight, or a learning disability. Therefore, if you think that this is a possibility it is important to visit your doctor or an educational psychologist to rule out any underlying medical cause.

The most valuable thing you can do as a parent is let your child know that you are there for them, and you care about them. Remember to let your child know that effort and trying their best is the most important thing. Yes, good grades are necessary, but so is your child’s happiness and your child will need to know that you are on their side rather than piling on pressure. Patience and parental support is crucial and will help with identifying the issue and supporting the steps you take to help your child.

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