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Encourage Apathetic Students

Is your student running out of steam at school? Love and Logic Institute, a national organization that teaches parenting techniques across the country, may be able to offer some help. Dr. Charles Fay, parent, author and speaker for the group, shares these at-home tips for helping kids stay focused at school:

1. Tell you child’s teacher that you’re working on it. “If a teacher calls to tell you about how Johnny is acting out in school, acknowledge her by saying, ‘I know how hard you’re working, and I want to help support you,’” says Fay. “Then, it’s time to focus on responsibility and respect at home. These two things will translate into the child’s behavior at school.”

2. Neutralize arguing. Fay advises, “Parents shouldn’t reason with kids – don’t match wits. I tell parents to say, ‘I love you too much to argue.’ If you consistently respond this way, you’re going to make the kid pretty mad. But, they will eventually realize that you’re not going to be manipulated.”

3. Assign at-home chores. “It’s amazing how successful chores are at teaching children responsibility. The tasks aren’t meant to be punishment – chores should help give kids a sense of accomplishment and a boost to their self-esteem. This will correlate to their schoolwork,” he says.

4. Celebrate their gifts. “Don’t make the mistake of trying to motivate kids in areas of weakness by taking away their area of strength,” adds Fay. “These kind of changes [in school performance] aren’t immediate; it will take some time and require a lot of faith and persistence from the parents.”