How to Redirect a Child if They're Doing Poorly in School

Learn some keys to understand your child and redirect them if you see that they're doing poorly in school or aren't reaching their full potential.
How to Redirect a Child if They're Doing Poorly in School
Pedro González Núñez

Written and verified by the child educator Pedro González Núñez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

If a child fails several subjects during a semester or a course, the first thing to know is that over-dramatizing the situation isn’t a good idea at all. With that in mind, we’re going to offer some keys to redirect a child who is doing poorly in school.

There are various reasons why a child might fail many subjects. Most parents tend to believe it’s because their children play too much and aren’t interested in their studies. But, behind this situation, there may be other much more hidden underlying reasons that we must uncover.

Let’s learn how to redirect the child when they’re doing poorly in school

After the first term, when parents see that their children haven’t achieved the grades they expected, it’s common for them to seek professional advice. They want to maximize their child’s education and, to do this, they usually opt for academies and tutoring classes.

A child that's daydreaming while doing his homework.

Many automatically assume that their child isn’t focused, that they study too little, and so on. However, we must also take other factors into account. For example, the constant early mornings, the accumulation of classes, the obligation to attend them and the many extracurricular activities that sometimes so many of our little ones do also have a great influence.

To this, we can add vacations, which are usually festive periods in which children don’t rest very much. Christmas, Easter, and Halloween, for example, are periods when they go out a lot and eat too much, and not always in a healthy way.

In the end, we see that children have hardly any breaks in their constant activity. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of the environment in which children develop when analyzing their academic performance.

Family keys to avoid unnecessary frustration when children perform poorly in school

Providing a proper family environment is essential in order to motivate children and help them adapt to school. At the same time, it prevents them from becoming unnecessarily frustrated by the results they obtain at school. That’s why a child’s home is the ideal place for them to apply themselves in class.

  • If you know your child well, you’ll know how they’ve developed and what evolutionary and psychological stage they’re at. You have to take into account their character, their changing process, their stage of life, what motivates them, and what helps them to concentrate.
  • You’ll be attentive to their personal and social environment. Both the school environment and extracurricular activities determine their group of friends. If it’s motivating, it will be easier for them to get good grades.
  • It’s easier for children to be more involved in their schoolwork if they fulfill their commitments and responsibilities at home. Therefore, it’s a good idea to define them as a family and make sure they’re fulfilled.
  • School success will be the result of all this being fulfilled in a family environment, which helps motivate the child who must understand the importance of being responsible and wanting to improve day by day.

Motivate your child

It’s important to accept reality. Your child isn’t going to improve just for the sake of it. Many times, they won’t do it out of obligation either. For that reason, you need to accept that, if the child isn’t motivated, they won’t take the definitive steps to improve in their studies. But there are ways you can help them from home.

A mother helping her daughter study.
  • Create a suitable environment and space for the child to study comfortably. In this way, they’ll be more orderly, pay more attention, and do their school work comfortably.
  • Help them define the work they have to do so that they feel accompanied and guided.
  • Use empathy and put yourself in their shoes. You can help them do whatever it takes, but try to make them do it themselves. Act as a guide and tutor, never do their work for them.
  • Avoid constant interruptions at home. Let the child have their own space where they feel motivated and have no problems studying.
  • Follow their progress closely, keep them encouraged, and lend a hand within your possibilities and free time.

Final thoughts on how to redirect your child if they’re doing poorly at school

We hope these keys will help you motivate, guide and support your child. But remember, if you don’t find a way to redirect a child who’s doing poorly in school, you always have the possibility of asking for help from a professional school psychologist to find the best solution together.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.