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Should children only concentrate on studies?

Q: My son is very active and playful. He takes interest in cricket and other games and plays games on the computer. He knows all cricket stars. He is also a good bowler. In studies he does all the class work in school but avoids doing his home work. In fact he says he has not got any home work. He can sit and play on the computer for 2 to 3 hours without blinking his eyes. But he cannot concentrate on his studies for more than 10 minutes. When we scold him he says he wants to study but within a few minutes he is over with it. He is otherwise very happy emotional and loveable child. He makes his presence felt. He is very fond of his parents and adores his brother who is 2 years older to him. Our main concern is around his studies he takes time to memorise. He in fact wants to complete the assigned task of memorising his lessons but forgets certain things in a short while. He mixes up the sequence of the answer and forgets certain points in the answers. We need help to resolve his problem of not being able to memorise.

A:It is obvious that your son is a very bright child but does not find studies interesting. His problem is not memory but lack of motivation and interest in studies - which is not an uncommon pattern. He can be helped in this by:

  1. Helping him relate his other interests with studies, e.g. cricket scores and maths!
  2. Showing him some memory tricks and short-cuts e.g. VIBGYOR to help him learn fast in a playful way.
  3. Not comparing him with any other child or to his own brother.
  4. Not labelling him as a poor learner. Children often adopt the label given to them by elders.
  5. Rewarding and encouraging even small efforts at studying on his own and getting slightly better grades.
  6. Not telling him constantly to study as the child soon stops listening.
Children also sometimes see it as a power struggle. Try helping him get intrinsically motivated rather than depending on elders. Involve him in devising his own study schedule and his own goals. Finally, no two children are alike! Enjoy your sons good points, his talents and loving personality. Maybe he is a Sachin Tendulkar in the making!!

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