Academic Underachievement

Everyone learns differently

Everyone learns differently, and those who fail to excel in their academics show academic underachievement. As you age, there are certain standards for what has expected of you academically. When you are not hitting those standards, it can be alarming. As a parent, it may show your child needs extra help or could have a learning disability. As you age, academic underachievement may be a result of you being lazy and not want to work, or it could be a result of you trying to excel in something that is not your niche. The cause of academic underachievement varies, but once the cause is diagnosed, you are then able to treat the problem.

Causes of Academic Underachievement

academic underachievementCauses of academic underachievement can be emotional, mental, or physical. A common problem we face is the fact that everyone does not learn the same. There are four different types of learners: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and those who learn better through reading and writing. Most classes are suitable for the student that understands by reading and writing. In just about every class you take, you have to read and write. What about everybody else? They just have to adjust or learn how to take the content they have learned and make it suitable for them.

Learning disabilities is a major cause of underachievement. It may not be that you do not want to do well but physically you have challenges. Dyslexia is the most common learning disability. Dyslexia is a broad term that may be associated with phonetic or reading challenges. It is not that you only get letters reversed but sometimes you may have trouble sounding out words. Other learning disabilities are a result of attention disorders. When you or your child cannot sit and pay attention, it is a chance you or them will miss out learning material. Another physical problem can be related to hearing. If you cannot hear, you cannot get all the information.

Emotional issues can deter from your academics. Some common problems include anxiety or depression. If you are depressed, you have no motivation or desire to do well. You may even think you are not good enough or can’t excel. If work gets hard, you may fail to ask for help. Anxiety can hinder you from excelling. You may do well in class work and have high anxiety during a test or a presentation. It does not mean you cannot do the work, but your anxiety may get the best of you and hinder you from doing well. Outside issues can also affect you emotionally. Things like divorce or abuse can prevent you from being able to focus and do well.

Every child needs encouragement. When a parent does not put emphasis on education or be a support system for their child, motivation can be lost. Study habits are essential to succeeding. It is best to figure out what type of learner you are and once you find that out, use that to help your study habits. Most people do not excel without studying. An interesting cause of academic underachievement is the lack of challenging work. Some people are geniuses. It is not that they cannot do the work, but they are bored with the work, so they don’t try. It seems strange that you can be too smart. But kids that are geniuses need things that challenge them and cause them to think.

Treating Academic Underachievement

Treatment for underachievement may begin with assessing your learning style. If you learn differently, do what suits you best. If you are a visual learner, make diagrams or charts and study from that. If you are an auditory learner, going to class is great for you, but also, recording lectures can help. Kinesthetic learners have to act it out.  Take what you learn and make it interactive. Those that read and write to learn, do that. Write everything out. These things may take time and effort, but you’re better off in the long run.

Those with learning disabilities require therapy. A learning disability is not the end of the world. You can succeed with a learning disability. There may be complications in reading, but a child with dyslexia do well when listening. Having a professional work with your child can turn things around. If a child is struggling because of hearing problems, get them tested. They may need hearing aids.  Medication can treat Attention-deficit disorders. It helps a child to calm down and pay attention.

academic underachievementTreatment for emotional issues may begin with seeing a counselor. When a lot is going on in the home, sometimes a child needs someone they can trust to get things off their chest. In cases of depression and anxiety, a child may need to see a psychiatrist who can prescribe medication that can help. Children are already under a lot of stress, especially in those high school years. As a parent, it is best to attempt to keep a stable and encouraging home where the child can thrive. As an adult rid yourself of those extra stressors. Try to create a peaceful environment for yourself.

Encouragement and enthusiasm are great ways to reverse underachievement. If you have a teacher that is not excited about the subject they are teaching, it too can make you nonchalant about the class. Parents that challenge you and encourage you are also a boost. When you as a parent get excited about your child’s grades, it will make them a lot of times want to do better. As you hit those high school years, you tend to get lazy, but it is important to keep your goals and dreams in front of you.
Academic underachievement has many causes and can have negative results. Education is very important and without it, it is hard to reach some of the goals you may have. It is hard seeing so many talented athletes who are not able to play at the collegiate level just because of their grades. Your academics require hard work and dedication. It may seem tedious and boring right now but in the long run, it will pay off. That “A” you get in your class today may lead to you running a Fortune 500 Company in the future.


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