Recognizing Student Struggles 2 of 7: Identifying the Warning Sign--Confidence Levels

This article is the second in a seven part series aimed to help parents recognize the warning signs given off by struggling students. Read on to learn more about how you can remain aware of your child's confidence level, and how you can help should it suddenly drop.

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A child who becomes quiet in school or suddenly reserved at home could be struggling with faltering self-esteem. This is often a warning sign that the child is having difficulty academically.

Identifying your child's level of confidence can be tricky, because while children can be great at displaying their emotions, they're also very good at hiding them. It's important to follow your child's progress closely. Ask your child's teacher if your child has been demonstrating less confidence than normal, or if they have been excluding themselves from class activities. Successful students usually have high self-esteem. They are more likely to raise their hand in class or take the lead in a group project.

At home, your child might pretend that everything is all right. It's important to observe him in his school environment. Asking a teacher make note of the behavior your child exhibits will help you determine where the problem lies. You'll be able to address the problem openly and apply the appropriate solution, which may consist of tutoring, counseling, or just plain old praise and encouragement.

If you think that your child might be having confidence issues, you will have to address the issue at home. A teacher can't always be responsible for tracking or monitoring the changing behaviors of all the children in one class, especially if their behavior doesn't negatively affect the learning environment. You know your child better than anyone. Ask specific questions that your student can answer simply without a lot of explanation.

Embarrassment and poor confidence go hand in hand. A lot of children won't admit to feeling afraid or overwhelmed. But a sudden lack of enthusiasm speaks volumes about the difficulty your child may be facing. When a child who used to be excited by science suddenly stops talking about rockets and space travel, it could be a warning sign. Help get to the root of your child's confidence problem by asking them if they've run into any tough lessons in school or by relaying stories about how you overcame fears and struggles that you had when you were younger. If you make struggles in school seem like a common experience, your child will be more open to talking about why they're uncomfortable with a lesson or subject.

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