Ann Dolin: When children don't perform up to their potential in school, parents can become very concerned and for a good reason. But let's fist talk about the term underachievement.
It's when the child is seriously underperforming and lacks motivation to complete simple assignments. One common sign of underachievement is a negative mindset. Many kids have an, I don't care attitude and act as if they couldn't care less about school.
They may also play the blame game by blaming their problems on unfair teachers. But the bottom-line is that kids often do care deep down inside. And this negative mindset is really code for feeling overwhelmed and under-prepared.
So often students want to do well, but their skill set does not match the expectation. And some times these underperforming students seem lazy or unmotivated. But there is often an underlying learning problem or a tension deficit that is causing school to be harder than it should be.
Other students are locked in a battle of will with their parents. In these cases it's often helpful for parents to take a step back and focus on the process of studying and completing homework rather than focusing solely on final grades.
Just by taking the emphasis of getting an A or a B parents can greatly reduce a significant amount of stress within the home.