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Why is my son not performing well in studies?

Q: My 9 years old son does not want to go to school and creates a fuss in getting up in the morning. He does not take the notes in the school written on the black board, even if he takes the notes, they won’t be neat. His handwriting has degraded, along with his grades this year. He also does not communicate clearly about what happened in the school due to which we missed some important things like sending him to school on weekend for scout activities, sport selection and craft day, etc. In the last few years he has seen a lot of fights between my parents, my wife and me. My mother treats my sisters’ children with affection, but not my children. My wife is not working and takes care of my son and the daughter who is 2 years old now; even then we are finding it challenging regarding his school and grades. Why is my son not able to study well, participate in sports, music and arts? Why doesn’t he show interest in these activities?

A:The observations of your son that you have mentioned do not give me enough information for me to give you any advice. I am not able to make out whether it is his basic lack of ability and competence or absence of motivation, and perhaps a problem of feeling of being rejected by the grandmother. You will have to find out and then take suitable action. If he is cognitively slow, he will need special attention and maybe even a special school at a later time. Any other behaviour issue would need the counsel of a Psychologist who can see him, assess his abilities and advise you of the next steps.

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