Children Who Put Themselves Down about Homework


Returning to school is challenging for kids and parents and caregivers. Many students who struggle with their homework put themselves down about it, convincing themselves they are dumb and unable to do schoolwork. Here are some suggestions for how to respond when you hear children doing that.

  1. Give him compliments about the things he does well.
  2. Say, “How come you are talking mean about someone I care about?”
  3. Tell her, “I care about you know matter what grades you get.”
  4. Say, “Do your best in school, and I will be proud of you.
  5. Show her ways in which you try new things, make mistakes, and improve.
  6. Explain, “Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes don’t make you a bad person. They tell you what to improve.
  7. Find ways to let her know you care about her and encourage her to talk about what kind of student she wants to be.
  8. Say, “Tell me three things you like about yourself.”
  9. Disagree with her.
  10. Say, “Hurting people is not acceptable here, and you are a very important person who should not be hurt by anyone, including by yourself.”
Adapted from Help for Parents of School-Age Children and Teenagers, Jean Illsley Clarke et al.


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