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"Why are you so lazy?", "Why are you not studying for your test?", "You are always watching TV!" etc, I am sure you have screamed all these at your children at least once in your life. Let us be really honest here. We do have a certain expectation for our children, especially in terms of their studies.

As parents, we want the best for our children. We expect them to reach their full potential and give everything their best efforts. But what we often forget is the pressure that our children are facing. Times have changed since the time we were in school. Competition is getting higher, school syllabus is getting more complex, exam stress is definitely increasing.

All of these can make our children feel overwhelmed and burnt out. This is why sometimes they fail to complete their homework, escape their studies by watching their favourite cartoons on TV etc.

Before you go into a full blown rage on your children, here are some pointers you may not know or realise about your children and their studies.

1. Children need balance like we do.




After a long day of work, getting stuck in a traffic jam, doing household chores, we need some time to indulge in watching some shows or read a book. The same goes for our children. After a whole day of classes, followed by tuition classes, music lessons, co-curriculum activities, our children need to relax before getting their homework done. Cut them a bit of slack and let them take a break. They need a good balance of work and play in order to power through the day without feeling burnout.  You can monitor their rest time, but always remember to not overload them with too much work and no play. This way they can have a much more balanced lifestyle.

2. Student stress is more than we can imagine. 

We may think that children are carefree and worry-free. That is definitely a misconception. Children have to adapt to their ever-changing development such as puberty and hormonal changes, changing environments such as entering a new class with different teachers and classmates, coping with peer pressure, managing school work and other activities, etc. These seemingly trivial problems to us can be very troubling and stressful for our young children.  As parents, we need to try and empathise with them, lend them a listening ear if they need to discuss their problems, and be more encouraging instead of constantly being authoritative. This way, we can provide a healthy environment for our children. 

3.  Homework and studies may be more overwhelming to some children.

This is a very important point to remember whenever you compare your children with others. Not all children are the same. Especially when children are still growing, each child develops at different pace and aspects. Some children may cope with the school syllabus easily, while some may struggle and face difficulties.  Hence, sometimes your children may be overwhelmed by the piling amount of school work, and choose to escape from all of it completely. At this point, punishing them may not be the most helpful way. What you can do is to talk to them and see what is troubling them, and help them by finding solutions. If you think they need extra guidance, you can opt to get them an experienced home tutor so they can have some extra help in homework and cope better.

4.  Children may have other underlying problems bothering them.

Sometimes when children undergo a loss of interest in their studies is because of other contributing factors. They may be bothered by other troubles and feel unmotivated in school. Forcing them to study or complete their homework will only create more stress. What you can do is to be patient and understanding and allow them to tell you their problems. They may have a classmate that picks on them, or a teacher that is very strict, or even some physical problems like short-sightedness that prevents them from paying attention in class. All these minor problems can accumulate and cause a child to lose interest in their academics. Always give them a chance to discuss their problems before you assume them to be lazy and punishing them.

5. Never forget that children are still kids.



One last reminder. Children are still kids. They may be easily distracted, playful, sometimes lazy or unfocused. What we need to remember is that all these is very normal. They are still kids who are growing and learning, that is what makes them kids after all. Do not be too hard on them, or have impossibly high expectations towards them to be perfect. Children should be allowed to be kids. Accept that they are still learning and growing. Give them some space to explore and learn. Be their guidance to a better version of themselves, but do not force them to be the perfect child. Let them enjoy their childhood as it only comes once in a lifetime.

After all these reminders, I hope you can understand your children better and empathise with them. Give your children the space to explore and have a balanced lifestyle, with both work and play. This can actually help them to learn better in the long run, and become healthy and well-balanced individuals.

If your children need guidance in their schoolwork, you can get the best home tutors for your children so they can cope better with their studies, and at the same time, reducing their stress. 

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