Does your child start to clam up when homework is brought out at night? Do they doubt their abilities and use how their peers are doing in class as evidence of their shortcomings? It’s not uncommon for children to suffer from low academic confidence if they’re experiencing difficulty in the classroom. I’ve seen the most bubbly and excited children wilt when the conversation turns to school. It breaks my heart to see students doubt themselves and feel like they’re inadequate in the classroom setting. If your child is struggling with low confidence, you’re definitely not alone. Keep scrolling for steps you can take to help boost your child’s academic confidence when it’s low.
1. Check in with the teacher
If your child’s confidence has taken a sudden dip, it’s a great idea to check in with their teacher before taking any other actions. The teacher may have insight into why your child’s attitude has recently changed, such as an incident in class, repeated struggles with a subject, or difficulties with peers. Knowing about an increased lack of confidence at home can also be a great insight for the teacher as she interacts with your child daily. Set up a meeting to bring up your concerns and see what your child’s teacher has to say.
2. Check in with your child
Sit down with your child to ask how they’re feeling about school. Try to ask open and non-leading questions that allow your child to be truthful about what’s going on. Having an open and honest conversation may give you insight into why your child is losing their confidence and how they’re feeling about school and themselves.
3. Talk about competing with yourself (instead of peers)
Some students feel less confident when they begin to compare themselves to their classmates. Seeing peers seemingly do better than them in the classroom can be discouraging. Help your child begin practicing the art of competing with themselves instead of with others. This could involve setting goals for self - improvement. Conversations about how we all learn differently, and how you can only truly compete with yourself can also be helpful.
4. Point out improvements
Just because your child isn’t progressing as quickly as they want to- that doesn’t mean they aren’t improving. Whenever you notice your child has made gains academically be sure to point it out! Maybe last year they struggled to grasp multiplication and this year they do it with ease, or they’ve improved their spelling and handwriting. Showing your child that you notice their growth can help them improve the view they have of themselves as a learner.
5. Let your child excel outside the classroom
It’s always nice to feel like you’re good at something! Find ways for your child to do what they’re good at and enjoy outside the school setting. This may be a sport, baking, crafting, or other hobbies. Letting your child shine will help keep their overall confidence high.
6. Get support from a tutor
If your child’s lack of academic confidence isn’t improving, seeking the support of a caring and experienced tutor can make all the difference. Having a third party educator on their team, cheering them on, and helping them build academic skills can help your child get the boost they need in the confidence department.
As humans, we all deal with confidence issues but this doesn’t make it any less painful to see your child struggle. In what ways have you helped your child with confidence in the past?