Frequent Reasons for Underachievement and Decreased Motivation
From the book, "A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children" by James T. Webb, Ph.D et al, page 63, 64.
- It's an attempt to fit in with peers; high achievement is not valued by classmates.
- The assigned tasks just do not seem interesting, relevant or important to the child's life.
- The underachievement is an expression of the child's desire to show independence.
- A child can gain power by taking control away from parents or teachers.
- A child may express anger against parents or teachers by going 'on strike'.
- It's sometimes easier to drop out than to go along with other's demands.
- A child may fear that success will result in pressures; others will expect more.
- It's a way to get attention from parents or teachers.
- It avoides risk-taking; saying "I really didn't try," can save face.
- It's an expression of dependency to get others to give attention and sympathize.
- There is too much emphasis put on extrinsic incentives for achievement rather than the intrinsic rewards of learning.
- The child is unable to think about or plan for future goals.
- The child has poor study habits or has not learned ways to organize material.
- The child is distracable and impulsive, which hinders perisitent academic work.
- The child is disheartened because of learning deficit or disability.
- The child is preoccupied with other conerns, such as family conflict.
- The child feels misunderstood or not valued, is discourages, and has a low self-concept or even depression.