7 Reasons Why Your Child is Underperforming

7 Reasons Why Your Child is Underperforming
7 Reasons Why Your Child is Underperforming

As parents, we often worry about a poor school report as much, if not more, as our kids do! And if your child's grades are slipping, you'll be looking for reasons and if there's anything you can do to help.

There are numerous reasons why a child might be struggling in class. Early intervention can be very effective, so it's helpful to identify any concerns as soon as possible. Once you have worked out the reasons for your child's underperformance, you can consider any additional support they may require.

The issue might be just temporary. And kids develop at different rates, so your child might need a little more time to catch up. However, if your child is no longer working as well as they used to, here are some potential reasons why they might be struggling.

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1. Stress

If a child goes through a stressful time, their behaviour and performance in class can be significantly affected. Stress may be caused by many factors, including school, family issues such as separation or divorce, friendship issues, extra-curricular sports or activities, or peer pressure. Children can also become stressed if they don't get enough sleep.

2. Emotional needs

Children's emotional needs differ. For example, some need to be liked, so if they get bullied or fall out with their friends, it can affect their academic performance. Other kids may have poor self-esteem and will do things they think will make them be accepted. Smoking cigarettes or experimenting with drugs or alcohol could significantly impact their education.

3. Too much screen time

Your child might be spending too much time gaming or watching movies and forgetting to study. Nowadays, it's almost too easy for kids to play games, access social media and watch TV, even while at school. And at home, many parents are too busy to monitor them all the time.

To help your child improve their grades, you will need to reduce the time they spend on their screens. For example, you may find a screen time monitor app helpful. And make sure there are no other distractions when they are studying.

4. Social anxiety

Many children experience social anxiety, feeling shy, nervous and uncomfortable in social situations. For example, they may find speaking in class, participating in PE, having lunch in the dining hall, or attending social gatherings challenging.

If your child has social anxiety, talk to their teachers, who will be able to help and encourage them.

5. Your child may have ADHD

Kids with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) often find it hard to sit still and focus on schoolwork.

When children have been diagnosed with ADHD, their teachers will help them stay on task and fulfil their academic potential. Many children can study more effectively once they have an individualised learning plan.

6. Poor emotional regulation

Some children have trouble controlling their emotions and coping with stress. This may lead to intense outbursts, aggression towards others, or self-injurious behaviours such as cutting themselves.

Children with poor emotional regulation cannot control their anger at times, which may cause problems when interacting with others at school. In addition, teachers might not understand why they are underperforming.

Emotional dysregulation can also lead to injurious behaviours such as self-harm, so it is essential to provide the help your child needs. This may take the form of therapy or counselling sessions that can help them cope with the situations they find challenging.

7. Cognitive issues

Problems with memory, language skills, and other cognitive difficulties can cause children to underperform at school. However, cognitive deficits are not related to a child's intelligence. Instead, they indicated that a child's lack of specific abilities is holding them back from fulfilling their potential. A child with cognitive issues will probably benefit from professional advice to help them do better at school.

How to help a child who is underperforming

Talk to them

Keep the lines of communication open and be there to talk things through when they are ready. Encourage your child to be honest and open about their feelings rather than bottling things up.

Cooperate with teachers

Schools are very experienced in helping children to achieve the best they can. So talk to your child's teachers, find out what they can offer and work with them to support your child.

Encourage a range of activities

Help kids to overcome anxiety by encouraging different social activities outside the home. This will help them develop new friendships and overcome stress in a relaxed environment.

Consider a special school

If your child is not doing well at a mainstream school, talk to their teachers. They may recommend a school that specialises .in educating children with issues such as ADHD.

Limit screen time

Limit entertainment time and encourage your child to read instead. Reading together will help them be comfortable with and enjoy reading for its own sake while developing an essential skill for their future studies.


Many schools provide a counselling service for kids who are struggling and underperforming. Talking things through with a trusted counsellor or therapist can support your child to cope with the emotional stresses that are holding them back academically.

Make sure your child gets enough sleep

You should also ensure that your kid gets enough rest by promoting good sleep hygiene. For example, enforce the same bedtime every night and ban screens after this time, no matter what their friends are allowed.

A final thought

Identifying the reasons why your child may not be performing well at school can help you find solutions to support them. And remember, you're not alone! Many parents and children face similar difficulties, overcome them and fulfil their true potential.




Marie Pure

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