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Should a child be forced to study?

Q: I have a 12 year old son who is in the 7th standard. Initially he was doing very well in studies and used to score above 90% now gradually he is loosing interest and his percentage is coming down. He is not concentrating on studies. Is it advisable to force him to study or leave it to him to do so?

A:The two alternatives suggested by you: to force him to study or to leave him alone are not the only ones, I think. First of all, find out from your son why he is losing interest. It could be due to some episode in school or home. Your own observation and concern will be the best way to find out what the matter is. You may already have an idea of some event or experience that had these results. In any case, the matter can be taken care of. Find out what interests him. If it is Cricket, the scores from the World Cup can be used for addition, averages, and a range of arithmetical operations. Learning need not be boring! It is something that children love to do. More parental time with the child and ensuring that there are good playmates of his age seem to be the recipe for his boredom. The marks in class should not be the sole criterion for you to judge him: rather you should see if he is interested, active and friendly. If the answer is yes, the problem is likely to be temporary.

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