- I have a boy of 10 years. I am divorced for 2 years after an 8 year marriage with a violent husband. I live now in Bucharest with my little boy, but he has very poor results at school. I went with him to a psychologist and he was also given an intelligence test, after which he was told that he got 96 points, that is, an average to a weak intelligence, but that in the present situation, the result is not relevant. I would like to know what I could do, since I started daily lessons with him, I encourage him, I try to motivate him ... and yet ... results do not have much. I mention that I was also specified by the psychologist that the boy is very afraid of his teacher and I was even recommended the system of education Aldorf. I wish I could change this situation and I would like your advice to optimize the school results or even the mental state of my child.Answer:
First of all, I notice that you are concerned about your son's evolution and try to help him improve his school performance. It is very good, because your support is very useful and emotionally.
If we make a simple calculation, it appears from your account that the divorce happened when the child was 8 years old. I suppose at least a year before the couple's relationship was already unbearable since it led you to the separation decision.
I conclude that just when your boy was at the beginning of school, the family situation was extremely tense. As you know, adults involved in a divorce are very emotionally affected, but children are traumatized, especially as they often do not quite understand what is happening to them.
So, right at the beginning of schooling - which represents for every child a big change in his life and requires a more adaptive effort, your boy has gone through a period of emotional convulsions. Instead of focusing on the new school life - quite demanding otherwise, he was totally emotionally disturbed because of the family imbalance (you specified that the husband was violent).
Probably at that time he had no special results at school, the teacher was not supportive and from that moment any failure demobilized him. This is how he no longer trusts himself and fears that anyone who tries will fail. From here, it was just a step up from the fear of teachers and probably even of school. Perhaps already every day of school is a burden to him, which produces a bad mental state. I think that's why you also mention the desire to improve his mental state.
Based on the little information you gave me, I tried to understand the complex situation in which your son is, and the biggest problem he faces is the lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem. To be able to help you, I should know a lot more about family history, about your relationship with your son, about his behavior at school and at home. In order to obtain results, all this specific information must be taken into account.
However, here are some tips:
· Remember that the past cannot be changed. Blaming yourself for what you did or didn't do is a waste of time.
· Try to accept yourself first. Do not feel guilty towards the child (ex: maybe because you did not get divorced earlier), because this will negatively affect your behavior. Give your child a good role model and focus on how you can help him or her at present.
· Always encourage him, challenge him to try until he succeeds.
· Your criticisms will be easier to accept if you start the comments with a remark about a positive behavior you have observed in your boy.
· Show him that you observe his efforts, and all the positive behaviors.
· Try to communicate differently than before. Ask him what he feels when he goes to school, when he goes out to school, when he has a job. Find out what he likes at school, what friends have to play, what he does during breaks.
Also use humor to make him lessen his fear of a teacher, a school or a failure. Do not dramatize the situation in which you are, you can relax a little atmosphere with a joke or an optimistic remark.
I should continue with countless tips, but it does not allow me neither space nor time. I recommend a psychological consultation. It is much more efficient from the perspective of the two criteria above, but especially from the point of view of the results.
Diana Paula Stoian,
Specialist in Child Psychology