Does your child ever have any difficulty concentrating on their schoolwork? All of us have been kids once. When we were at school, there was one thing that we dreaded: studying. Studying meant we had to set aside the things we loved doing and focus on subjects that we had little to no interest in, all for the sake of getting good grades in school. Of course, now that we’re older, we know much better than to question why we needed to study. Studying for school opens more doors for us and helps prepare us for our future professions.

But for many children, studying just seems like a waste of time and a chore that we just have to get over. Thus, it may be difficult for them to cultivate the habit of studying by themselves, unless they really love the subject.

Carean Oh, a known professional educational consultant in Singapore, once stated that educators should position themselves as stakeholders in a child’s education. Meaning, it takes the help of many people for a child to be properly educated and learn the skills and values it takes to be great at studying (or really, all kinds of endeavours). As your child’s parents, you have a stake in their education. If you want them to truly succeed in school, you should take steps in ensuring that they can hone the valuable life skills of studying and learning.

What to do when your child is struggling

There’s only so much that you can do as a parent. We all want our kids to do well in school, but ultimately, the question of whether they will excel or not is up to the student, not the parent. You don’t have to be a helicopter parent, but there are certain times when you will need to step in and guide your child so they won’t struggle in school.

Parenting tips in Singapore for parents of kids struggling in school

It might be difficult to know if your child is struggling if they don’t confide in you. Look out for these warning signs that your kids aren’t being the most truthful when it comes to their school standing.


1) Your child’s teacher reaches out to you. If their teacher has expressed concern about your child’s progress, you might want to see if they’re struggling in school. Teachers don’t usually reach out unless it’s important.

2) Your child has lost interest in talking about school. If your child used to talk all the time about school but becomes reluctant to share all of a sudden, this may be a sign that your child is struggling in school. There are many reasons why they might stop talking about it. They may have school issues with the teacher or student, they might have a hard time understanding the subject, or they may simply be bored with the subject.

3) Your child talks about school being boring. On the other hand, you may be having the opposite problem. If your child had no issues with schoolwork before but suddenly complains about school being boring, or not worth the time, maybe your child has trouble focusing on schoolwork or finds it boring. Sometimes, the issue here is that your child may have attention problems, or maybe, they’re too gifted for the curriculum. Either way, you’ll need to find out how to motivate your kids to study.

5) Problems sleeping, eating, or doing any of their usual school activities. An indicator that your kids may need intervention is if they cannot do any of their usual activities because of schoolwork. This is usually related to stress and can be detrimental to your child’s health if it continues.

6) Receiving bad scores even after studying. Of course, the biggest indicator that your child is struggling is when they receive their report card or results and they still receive poor grades even after they have studied hard for it.

It’s not surprising that there are many children that are too embarrassed or scared to confide in their parents. It may be because they fear being punished, or because they think they may be ridiculed by their parents. Other times, it may be because they simply don’t want to disappoint you. The trick to getting your child to confide is to create an environment that is not unwelcoming of mistakes. Let your child know that you will help them improve and that you prioritise guiding them instead of criticising them.

What to do when your child is struggling


Learning how to motivate your children can be difficult. But failures are a part of growing up and your child will need to overcome this struggle if they want to get anywhere in life. Fortunately, they have their parents with them who are willing to guide them through the process. Here are some tips to help make it a little easier for your children.

  • Check if your child may have a learning disability. For some people, mental health may be taboo, but learning and accommodating for disabilities can do wonders for your child’s ability to learn.
  • Hire a tutor for your child. Tutors can help children who do not benefit from classroom learning. Some students may learn better in certain learning environments and have different learning styles from other people.
  • Designate specific study and homework areas in the house. This can help kids concentrate on their work and also allow you to monitor them. Studying in rooms can expose them to distractions like their phones and TVs.

Carean Oh is a professional writer and educational consultant in Singapore. Reach out to her and enrol your kids in early childhood education courses to help them prepare for their future.