Warning Signs that your Child is not Coping Well with Studies
With the approach of exam seasons, it is almost a given to see harried parents worrying about their child’s studies. It is almost a testing time for the parents as well. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that it is a worse nightmare for the parents, who end up worrying a lot more but being unable to do much about it, as eventually the onus falls back on the child. However, it could be helpful to have a guide for parents to be able to identify the signs which indicate that your child is having difficulties in coping with his or her studies. Some of these signs could commonly include the following:
1. Sudden change in approach towards studies. This could include a sudden dislike or aversion to the idea of studying, or a contrary over-involvement and excessive interest in studying 24×7. Any such sudden change could be indicative of difficulties in the child’s coping with his or her studies.
2. Gap between efforts and performance. Each child would truly have a more or less accurate insight about his or her performance. However, in case of a huge gap or discrepancy between the student’s own expectations and actual performance, be it an over-achievement or an under-achievement, this could be a sign of the student’s inability to evaluate one’s efforts accurately.
3. Excessive comparisons with peers. While some amount of comparison and competition is healthy and even helpful at times, an excessive comparison could be indicative of a lack of confidence in one’s own abilities and performance. On the contrary, it is important for students to be encouraged to focus on their individual capabilities as unique, and to work towards their own goals and targets individually.
4. Sudden change in approach towards studies. This could include a sudden dislike or aversion to the idea of studying, or a contrary over-involvement and excessive interest in studying 24×7. Any such sudden change could be indicative of difficulties in the child’s coping with his or her studies.
5. Change in lifestyle and routine. The stress of studies would invariably be manifested in the form of changes in the students’ routine and daily lifestyles. This could include changes in sleep patterns (excessive sleeping or insomnia), binge-eating or comfort eating, or often starvation or loss of appetite, excessive smoking or caffeine, etc.
6. Increased irritability and low frustration tolerance. As a parent, it is inevitable for you to notice that your child gets easily irritated at the most trivial triggers. This could be a clear signal of the child’s inability to cope up with the demands and expectations.
Lastly, it is important to remember that, often parents are able to recognize the signs of their child experiencing difficulties with his or her studies. But what comes next is the more important point, as it is common for the parental concerns and efforts to be perceived as a hindrance or an interference from the child’s point of view. Therefore, avoid being punitive or nagging, and instead help the child identify the obstacles and develop better and smarter mechanisms to deal with the pressure and expectations of his or her academics, without compromising on your relationship with the child.