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How can I handle my daughter who avoids studying?

Q: I have a lot problems with my elder daughter, regarding her studies. She doesn't copy anything from the blackboard. I have to go through her books everyday and call her friends to copy notes. Her excuse is that the teacher dictates very fast or writes very fast and rubs the board and she cannot cope up with her speed. She doesn't pay attention in the class. Every time she comes home saying that she doesn't know anything. I have to take up all the lessons again. She doesn't study on her own. I always have to push her to do her homework and study her lessons. She only wants to play with her sister. She goes to the toilet and sits there for half an hour to avoid studies. She takes a long time to finish her food. I am a working woman and come back home in the evening after which I have to cook food for my family. It is very difficult for me to handle her. I get tired and take out my anger on her by shouting and beating her. I have tried handling her with love and patience but its of no use. How can I handle her?

A:You have given me a detailed report of your daughter without mentioning her age or class. The seriousness of her indifference to homework etc. will be defined by her age and class. Let me assume that oyur daughter is 10 years old and in Class 4. There are two possibilities: 1) She may not be at the level of a 10 year old in her mental abilities. She may be finding school work difficult. 2) She may be having some other problem, by which she is not able to attend to her lessons. You will be the best person, having known her from her birth, which of the two explanations fits the situation. Please talk to her teachers and ask them what they suggest. Also try and give her a small specific job to complete and giver her a hug or some praise if she does it on time and correctly. Keep repeating this procedure. Get the help of other members of the family, if they are available, so that you do not have to handle every problem yourself. See that the child is assessed by a Psychologist or counsellor and make a proper plan for her education according to what she can do. You may need to be patient as she progresses gradually. Ask her what her reasons are for not taking homework down and do not assume that they are not true reasons. She may not only be troubling you - she may be troubled herself! Get the help of friends, neighbours, colleagues. Most people will help if there is a genuine problem.

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