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Boosting Confidence in Struggling Students

Boosting Confidence in Struggling Students

October 20 is National Youth Confidence Day and LearningRx, the largest personal brain training company in the world, has some tips to help you boost your child or teen's confidence if they're struggling in school.

1. Focus on effort and other types of success.

Not every success looks like an A on a test or even getting a B+ on a paper. Success could mean having a lot of quality friends, pushing through a rough day at school instead of coming home early, performing well in a music recital, or receiving a leadership award.

You can also look for opportunities to praise effort rather than the results. A struggling reader who works hard to finish a book and write a book report can feel very accomplished and motivated, even if they don't earn the highest grade. Likewise, a student who studies for hours for a test but doesn't perform well can still be lauded for their attempts to succeed.

2. Create new opportunities for success.

Build confidence by introducing your student to new opportunities to feel successful. This could mean an art class, recreational volleyball, taking care of the neighbor's dog while they're on vacation, or demonstrating kindness by helping an elderly person return their cart at the grocery store.

3. Get to the root of the problem.

One often-overlooked correlation with self-confidence is poor academic performance. At LearningRx we see all types of kids going through our brain-training programs—from children with ADD and dyslexia to teens who want to increase their learning skills to perform better on college prep tests. One of the most reported changes from parents is their child’s increased self-esteem. Unlike tutoring, which focuses on reteaching academic material that was missed the first time, personal brain training is designed to attack the root cause of a learning struggle: weak cognitive skills. In other words, if a child isn’t grasping information because a cognitive skill—such as attention, auditory processing (the skill that allows the brain to analyze, blend, and segment sounds), logic, memory, or processing speed—is weak, why reteach the material over and over when instead, you can uncover the root cause of the problem and successfully strengthen that weak skill?

Next steps: If you believe you or your child struggles with weak cognitive skills, a Brain Skills Assessment can help determine the root of the problems. If the test shows strong skills, this will indicate that the problems lie elsewhere. However, if it shows one or more weak skills, we can help formulate a plan that will target and strengthen those skills. Start by contacting your nearest LearningRx Center through