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Dear Mommies and Daddies,
Have your children complained about how they don’t want to study anymore?
Although the dropout rate of students from schools is extremely low in Singapore, we cannot deny the fact that most students dread going to school because they are not interested in studying.
What are the implications of losing interest in learning?
If students are not interested in studying, it is unlikely that they will put in their 100 percent and thus, will not be able to maximise their full potential.
Thus, this article seeks to provide 6 reasons on why your child lost interest in learning and how you can get them excited again and make them happy.
#1. Interest turns into obsession
Young kids get interested in things very easily. They tend to demonstrate an eagerness to learn new things if what they are learning is exciting. Therefore, if kids find the subject they are learning interesting, they will learn better.
However, this interest can also turn into an obsession.
Research has shown that kids below the age of 13 spend increasingly amount of time on the computer. Getting addicted to computer games will jeopardise learning because the kids’ mind will only revolve around computer games, causing them to lose interest in learning.
I do not encourage you to impose a complete ban on computer games for your children as playing computer games can benefit your children by helping them to relax. However, everything should be done in moderation and you should limit the amount of time your children spend in front of the screen to ensure that they do not develop this harmful vice.
#2. Studying alone leads to helplessness
Some students find studying extremely difficult if they do it alone. When students find that they have nobody to turn to, they start to get tired and give up on studying.
Introverts are more likely to face this problem. Due to their reserved nature, they find it more difficult to consult their teacher for help. Some may also find it tough to make friends.
Hence, if your children are introverts, it is fundamental that you give them emotional support and monitor their behaviour. As introverts have the propensity to bottle up and not talk about their troubles, you should show them concern and constantly ask if they need help with their school work.
#3. Studying without a purpose
It is difficult to get interested in doing anything that you deem pointless. Some parents try to motivate their kids by telling them that it is important to study hard and get good grades so that they will eventually be successful.
However, you have to bear in mind that your kids may not understand the purpose of being successful in the future. Thus, they may not able to recognise the importance of studying.
Instead, tell your children the relevance of each subject to motivate you child to study. You can do so by explaining the practical use of certain subjects in their daily lives. For example, you can describe to them how whatever they have learnt in Mathematics can be applied in measuring things and counting money.
#4. Boring learning pedagogy
Different kids have different abilities and react to different styles of teaching and learning. Some kids simply hate to read textbooks and the sight of long paragraphs of words explaining concepts.
It is important for you to identify your children’s optimal style of learning. If your children are unable to focus when they read, try playing video lectures on sites like the Khan academy to facilitate learning. They may have a visual mind and are more interested in this style of learning.
#5. Heavy workload causing burn out
Many Singaporean parents force their kids to take up enrichment classes like music lessons or martial arts classes. They want to equip their kids with as many skills as possible so that their kids don’t lose out to others.
By doing so, their kids may be overloaded and eventually burn out, causing them to lose interest in everything including studying.
Hence, if your children are always complaining about how tired they are, do revise their curriculum. If these complaints are legitimate and their schedule are indeed hectic, make necessary adjustments. Always remember not to overstretch your children.
#6. High expectations resulting in loss of motivation
It is inevitable that every parent will want their child to be the best.
It is easy for parents to set high standards and demand for an “A” from their child during examinations. However, parents must understand the repercussions of setting unrealistic expectations.
Just imagine putting yourself in your child’s shoes. If your boss gives you a target which is impossible to meet. You will most probably lose motivation because no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to satisfy him or her. Similarly, this is how your children might feel.
Hence, while it is essential that you set goals for your children, always remember that these targets should be realistic and within your children’s abilities. You do not want them to give up and lose interest in studying right?
The above solutions are possible ways in which you can address different causes to loss of interest in studying. It is important that you monitor your children’s behaviour and act accordingly when they demonstrate signs of disinterest in learning before they completely give up on studying.