Updated: Jul 5, 2022
Children are becoming more and more unmotivated when it comes to schoolwork or working hard. But this isn't all their fault.
Somewhere over the years, a lot of parents stopped making their child's upbringing a priority, and it is becoming a serious problem in schools as well as society as a whole. I am not saying that there are no good parents out there, but I can say with certainty after working in public schools and having IEP meetings and parent conferences, that you can almost immediately understand why a child acts to way they do, after spending 5 minutes with their parent(s).
Obviously this is not the same for everyone, but when I am working with a child that is motivated and generally wants to work hard, do better, and succeed in whatever they are doing, it is almost always because there is a parent at home encouraging them and teaching them good work ethic. I can't, and will not tutor a child that refuses to work or does not have parents also working with them. I will give 100% to make sure they grow, but parents and the student also have to give 100% or it won't work. That is why the process is a joint effort.
Sadly, over 60% of the students I worked with could not focus on one simple task in a small group for more than 1-2 minutes at a time. There was generally complaining and asking "why" they had to do anything; and sometimes, they would just sit there and completely refuse to even pick up a pencil. The amount of disrespect that I have encountered within elementary students is abominable. Children are being pushed to the side and are not being taught how to be decent members of society. These are the kids that are going to be taking care of you when you're old. Think about that for a minute.
So what can we do about it? As I have mentioned before, I do not have children of my own, so I am going to give you my teacher perspective.
Read with your child. Even if it is 5-10 minutes a day, DO IT. Model how to read different genres of text. It is amazing to see the difference between kids who were read to as very young children (this include pre-school age). This aids in your child's language development, reading fluency and vocabulary, and many many different things. For more information visit: https://www.healthline.com/health/childrens-health/reading-to-children#for-babies
Model appropriate behavior. This goes for all types of situations. Allow your child to see how you handle things and then talk about it!
Encourage them. School and just life in general can seem difficult as a kid. Let them know that they are capable of just about anything! Show them where working hard and being kind can get them. But also let them know that failure is also a part of life and all we can do is learn from it. It was so incredibly sad to witness how many 2nd and 3rd graders were so stressed out about how they did on a test and were deathly afraid for their parents to find out.
In my experience, I honestly think that they best thing that anyone can do for their child, is be there for them. Whether or not you're married, divorced, re-married, or a single parent, don't forget about the human that you brought into this world, they are more important than anything else going on in your life and they deserve your time, love, and encouragement. :)