Children get disengaged from their academic work for various reasons, including learning, social, or attention issues. However, not every child functioning below average in school has a diagnosable problem, and their disinterest in school and studying could come down to laziness. It can be perplexing and worrying when your child seems disinterested in doing well, particularly when you as a parent are trying your best. Trying to force a child to be motivated and driven nearly always backfires, but there are constructive ways to support and inspire them to perform better in school. The following tips from NewLife Student Care in Teck Whye can help you create a framework that sparks your child’s motivation and increases their chances of success.

1. Stay Positive

Keep an honest, respectful, and upbeat relationship with your child. Maintaining an open  relationship with your child develops their active listening and collaborative problem-solving skills while enhancing your ability to influence them positively. Punishment, threats, shouting, and hostile interactions are ineffective in the long-term and can ultimately harm your relationship with your child. Your feelings of fear, irritation, and anxiety are acceptable and normal, but reacting to your child with criticism and frustration will only make matters worse. Positive parenting is far more effective with recognition and praise, consistency, unconditional love, and encouragement for independence and personal development.

2. Get Involved

Your presence in your child’s academic life promotes nurturing and commitment to work. When they are younger, do homework with them, and as they get older, be available to help whenever needed. Habitually ask them what they learned in school and engage them academically. Teenagers can bristle if they feel you are asking too many questions, so make sure you share how your day was, too. Your child will be more responsive to a conversation than to an interrogation.

3. Reinforce and Reward

Reasonable rewards and positive reinforcement become extrinsic incentives children internalise over time. Children are very responsive to social reinforcers like hugs and high-fives. Encourage effort over results and praise for perseverance in the face of adversity. However, be mindful that children who constantly receive praise for completing something that is easy and requires no effort may get the message that they do not have to exert themselves. Try to strike a balance between affirmation of effort and encouraging them to reach a little higher every time.

4. Create Structure

You are not there to complete the task for them; instead, you can assist in defining a structure that can help them study, such as setting specific times for homework without access to a TV or device. Your child needs to recognise that structure does not equate to punishment. Instead, it provides an opportunity for them to cultivate a strong work ethic.

5. Be a Coach

For many parents, it may be tempting to jump in and help their child by doing homework and tasks for them! However, when you compensate for a child’s lack of effort by anxiously doing it for them, they will learn to take advantage of your fears and never learn the consequences of failing to do their part.  Be their coach, give direction, but stay on the sidelines and let them play the game.


The final thing to remember is that you should keep your objectives and expectations realistic. Not every child can get straight As, so focus on their dedication rather than the result. Don’t forget, a positive and affirming relationship with your child can be one of the strongest motivations for them to do well. When your child knows that you believe in them, they will naturally be encouraged to put in their best efforts.