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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

When children develop passions about school subjects, it is a moment of both pride and comfort for the parent. Encouraging a child to flourish in their favorite subject is one of the greatest joys of parenting, and can expand a child’s talents exponentially. Unfortunately not every subject can be a favorite, or even tolerated. These subjects can be detrimental to the child’s education, self-esteem, and family relationship. Luckily, you have power as a parent to help your child love their least favorite subject.

If You Can’t Talk About It, You Can’t Fix It
Your first goal should be to work on communication with your child. Do not get upset with them for their resistance of the subject. Instead, encourage them to express themselves more thoroughly about it. When they open up to you, you will better understand what the issue with the subject is.

Do not to judge your child. Even if you found the subject easy when you were in school it doesn’t mean your child should too. In fact, curricula for many subjects have changed drastically over the years, especially history and science classes. You may be learning right along with your child.

Understand The Subject Well Yourself
Your second step should be to better understand the subject frustrating your child, as well as the structure of the classwork. Does your child complete assignments alright, but have issues with the tests? Or is the homework each night a gauntlet of challenges? Sometimes children can understand the basic material early in the year, but then miss a key concept and feel lost later on.

There is no harm in asking to see your child’s textbook so you can understand better. This will deepen your knowledge of the subject if you need a refresher yourself, and is a wise choice for subjects that want answers specific to that book and phrased in a certain style.

Use Different Techniques To Ease The Problem
An excellent technique is to have your child outline what they feel they don’t understand. Have them list on a piece of paper what bothers them about the subject – you may find out the issue is a classmate distracting them, or something similar. Even if you can’t help, you can share the list with their teacher for advice.

Another technique is to make games out of tasks like studying for a test or quiz. You can involve the family, even, and as your child improves it will make him/her self-confident enough to outperform the family on your own unique quiz show.

Try employing a tutor to help your child in the subject. Sometimes your child simply needs input outside of family and school to help them.

An additional technique is to incorporate a subject your child loves into the one they struggle with. Make the dreaded math problem into a funny word with their English or foreign language vocabulary. Make up silly acronyms to help them memorize scientific concepts. Laughter often equals learning.

When children have least favorite subjects in their curriculum it can be a great source of stress for the entire family. If you can focus on better communication with your child, understand their frustration, and implement techniques, you can change your child’s attitude towards these subjects. If you don’t give up, your child won’t either.

Author Amanda Lee is a career counselor and content contributor for hometuitionagency.com.sg, which emphasizes Chinese tuition as an integral factor in international studies.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents of children who hate a subject or two in school.