How to Inspire Underperforming Students

This article was originally published on September 21st, 2015. It was updated and republished here on August 23rd, 2017.

Your middle schooler or high schooler tends to underperform in school — and it drives you crazy.

What’s a caring, involved parent to do? You know how high the stakes are. Is it your duty to strictly supervise and control homework so that your son or daughter gets higher grades and has a happier life ?

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Dr. Charles Fay of loveandlogic.com says no.

In a newsletter article published here, Charles gives parents a far better idea. “When your children get resistant,” he says, “allow them to learn through their refusal. Refusing to do a homework assignment can serve as a more important life lesson than the content of the assignment.”

Here are three additional strategies Charles recommends:

1.The next time your child gets resistant, experiment with walking away from the table and saying:

  • I love you too much to fight with you about homework.
  • I’ll be happy to help when I see that you want my help.

2. Let their grades be their grades.

When their grades are poor, be sad for them. Using empathy rather than anger dramatically increases the odds that they’ll actually feel bad about getting bad grades. When this begins to happen, the consequence comes from inside the child . . . rather than us having to provide one from the outside.

In Charles’ book From Bad Grades to a Great Life he provides excellent additional strategies for helping kids develop this type of internal drive. One of them is:

3. Build them up in their strengths.

Kids who make a lot of mistakes also need to experience plenty of success. That’s why it’s so important to encourage them to spend time and energy on their strengths. Celebrating their successes cements our relationship and gives them the courage to tackle the tough stuff!

Many thanks to Charles Fay for these insights. You can find all his loveandlogic.com parenting and classroom help at www.loveandlogic.com.

There’s no part of parenting more important than setting your kid up for successful college and career life.

For clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt-free, don’t rely on a loose collection of blog posts. You’ll miss hundreds of details that way. Instead, get your copy of my book:

You can “Look Inside” the book on Amazon for free by going to:

bit.ly/burlowski

(Tell your friends.)

You can see the “Top 9 Questions Parents Are Asking Me About LAUNCH,” here.

Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1-3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.

And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it – especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.

Do you have friends who are parenting kids ages 12 – 22? SHARE this post on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn right now.

What about you? What strategies have you found for inspiring teens to get higher grades? Comment below or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.

Who is Jeannie Burlowski?

Jeannie is a full time author, academic strategist, and speaker. Her writing and speaking help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, NerdWallet, and US News and World Report.

Jeannie also helps students apply to law, medical, business, and grad school at her website GetIntoMedSchool.com. You can follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.