What to Do When My Kid Doesn’t Want to Study

(Last Updated On: February 22, 2023)
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    Most parents know how difficult it can be to get their children to do homework or study for tests.

    Parents are often left wondering what they should do when their child is not motivated to study.

    There are many ways that parents can encourage kids who don't want to study.

    One way is by making sure the space where the work will be done is welcoming and inviting, with plenty of light, comfortable seating, and a table that's large enough for both parent and child (or at least one capable of sitting up on their own).

    Another suggestion is to encourage your child with praise before starting work together on something like reading aloud together or studying math problems, especially if you already have a good relationship with your kid.

    When my kids don’t want to study, the first step is to think about why they are acting this way. Is it because they feel like studying is boring? Maybe their teacher has given them too much work, and so they are feeling overwhelmed.

    It could be that there is something else going on in their life that I am unaware of. When I can identify what's wrong, then we can try to fix the problem together.

    What to Do When My Kid Doesn’t Want to Study

    Every child is unique, and hence every child needs a different environment to reach his potential.

    But, unfortunately, when everyone around us seems to be a competition, living in the times today, it becomes tough to lift the excess burden to study rigorously.

    Even adults face such kind of pressure in day-to-day life, whether it’s about office performance or keeping up with social media.

    Similarly, kids today are also surrounded by various forms. There is constant pressure on them to perform better in every aspect. Some kids are blessed with the right concentration and learning skills, and hence they find it easy to learn more.

    While in other cases, this constant pressure on some kids often drifts them away from their studies. They find it hard to focus and don’t want to study. But the question arises of how to develop an interest in studies.

    Education in the initial years of learning plays a crucial role in the holistic development of a child. Most of the right habits and social etiquette are formed in these foundational years. But what to do when poor concentration skills of your kid take over his initial learning experience, and your kid doesn’t want to study?

    This can become a significant concern during good parenting.

    But what to do to enhance a child’s desire or motivate the child and his ability to learn? Well, as they say, nothing is impossible for parents.

    However, there are always some proactive steps that you can take to help your kid develop better study habits and learning skills.

    Tips for When a Child Doesn’t Want to Study

    Acceptance Before Expectations

    As parents and facts of good parenting, we have a lot of expectations and hopes from our children.

    Of course, we want them to be happy, healthy, and prosperous in every aspect of their life.

    But make sure that your expectations don’t act as an unnecessary burden on your child. For example, if he is not good at studies, accept it, and make yourself comfortable.

    This will motivate your child to work harder. Define your idea of success with them and make them enjoy learning without burdening them. This will give you answers to how to develop an interest in studies.

    Look Out Of Their Interests

    Education or learning ideas are different for every individual, but the learning environment that we provide is relatively rigid. They go to school, study, follow a scheduled timetable, do specific assignments, learn certain topics, and get promoted based on their performance.

    But maybe, this is not working for your child. If he finds doing chores boring and shows no interest in the topics taught in school, expand your approach by considering his topics of interest.

    For instance, if your kid gets excited about planets or animals or nature, or if your child likes to listen to stories and respond well to them? Figure out their interests and take time out to pursue them.

    This will engage your child in learning more about such subjects, and he will end up attaining better focus.

    Encourage Their Curiosity

    Curiosity is like kids. They are always curious about everything that surrounds them.

    Their growing years are all about what, why, and how. Because of good parenting, you can harness their curiosity, motivate children, and give it the right direction.

    Provide them with the freedom to find answers on their own.

    Allow them to wonder about topics independently. Answer their question with a question.

    This will engage your kid’s mind, and he will be curious to study more things. Don’t get irritated over your child’s tendency to ask, “why?” Always answer with patience.

    De-Emphasize School

    School is the centre point of learning in the initial years of your child, but it should not be the end-all of learning.

    Don’t get disheartened over the school performance or teacher’s review of your child’s account.

    If your child doesn’t like studies, there are chances that his performance at school will not be satisfactory.

    This is because every child needs a different environment to thrive. Traditional methods of schooling do not need to be enough to engross your child into learning.

    Give your children the freedom to follow their interests. Handle their test anxiety patiently and avoid taking an angry approach. This will divert them further from studies.

    Make Studying Enjoyable

    Kids follow things that seek their interest. Ask them to study with the help of diagrams or cartoon pictures.

    Draw mind maps or thought charts. Please provide them with coloured pens and encourage them to enjoy their studies.

    Be creative to attract their attention to reviews. This will help them in enjoying the process rather than avoiding it. Follow good parenting and know the difference.


    Learning Together 

    Just like the family eats together, celebrates together, make sure to learn together. Read exciting books, watch documentaries on exciting subjects, go to museums and the zoo. Show enthusiasm towards learning new things and explore education tools, and your child will follow you.

    Minimize Distractions 

    Technology resides with us. From the time we wake up till the time we hit the bed, we are surrounded by technology. And since kids form habits quickly, they often get attracted to these gadgets.

    They like playing video games over the phone or TV consoles; they like watching movies and browsing the internet. So keep an eye on their screen time and pay attention to such habits. Make sure that your kid doesn’t spend much time on mobile phones. Minimize distractions to help them focus on their study.

    Stay Positive 

    Focus on the strengths of your child rather than weaknesses. Promote a positive learning approach that emphasizes on capabilities. If your child is not interested in a particular subject, find another way to seek his interests. For instance, if your kid is weak at maths, follow approaches that are different from the traditional ones.

    Watch videos on the internet, or teach them while playing or buying them chocolates. Similarly, if your kid is interested in language ad writing, encourage him or her to learn more about it. This will promote progress, and your child will develop a sense of self-belief that will lead him to seek other realms of knowledge too.

    Don’t Shy Away From Seeking Professional Help

    As we have said before, every child is unique, and their needs differ accordingly. Therefore, while it is entirely okay to feel distaste towards school and education, but in some cases, there can be more than meets the eye.

    For example, some children struggle with learning disabilities that make things more difficult for them. If you feel that your child is showing traits of some disabilities, consider seeking professional help as soon as possible. Disabilities like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia are common in children, but they are manageable. Get your child the desired treatment and help him develop their learning skills.

    Why Do Children Lose Interest in Studies?

    Many children lack interest in studies, but parents must take the right steps before such children completely lose interest. Here are some reasons why children hate studying and what parents can do to help them start loving studies again.

    No one, especially a child, likes to be controlled. They all prefer freedom, but unfortunately, the concept of freedom often extends to areas necessary for their future growth and development, such as studying.

    Most children view studies as a way for parents to tie them down despite their obvious disinterest. In the back of their heads, they are aware that they need to do well in a classroom setting in order to win the admiration and respect of their peer group, teachers and parents but their need to have fun and enjoyment in their lives triumphs over these concerns.

    Reasons Why Children Hate Studying

    Here are some reasons why children start losing interest in studies.

    Hindrance to Freedom

    Children find studying extremely irritating and hard due to their preconceived false notions about school and the subjects of their studies. Therefore, they eventually feel controlled, and they dislike the feeling intensely. It all boils down to doing something you thoroughly enjoy, and the majority of kids do not enjoy studying. They fail to realize that they can learn to love their studies if only they give it a chance.

    Negation Of Control

    Many kids in school settings have this strong dislike for studying, so whenever they sit down to study their texts, they concentrate on something else. This is responsible for making them hate studying though some of them actually like reading.

    Numerous children enjoy reading books, but they do not like being told what they need to read. Parents might try to convince their children to consider studying their subjects as reading something they like, but in reality, studying requires a special sort of concentration and practice.

    Parents should be actively encouraged to develop their own techniques that will make their study process livelier and increase their ability to gain and retain information. An increase in memory capability is greatly recommended since it enables children to learn simply and easily.

    Breaking Down Barriers

    You must first break the wrong notions that your children harbour towards studies by encouraging him or her to link his or her studies with images that appeal to him or her. In order for this technique to work, your kid must have an open mind so that he or she becomes capable of linking things with weird or unusual topics they will study in the course of time. This is basically a method of combining the good with the bad – the effect of associating unlikely objects with images that are actually appealing to the kids.

    Visual Aids

    If you are prepared to go the extra mile for your child’s benefit and inculcate the love of studies in him or her, you can begin by highlighting certain phrases and words in books that refer to various things. Make sure that you use different colours to mark the words since this makes the subject matter more cheerful to view, and the kid may actually take the initiative to read what you have marked down so diligently for him or her.

    Streamlining Studies

    Another method that might work to spark the love of education within your child is to summarize the subjects that are being taught in school. Of course, you have to take an active part in the process since it can get rather complex, but the end result is a lot of fun with knowledge.

    You and your child may draw flowcharts and maps on normal full-scape papers in order to make sure that he or she can revise them quickly and grasp the fundamental concepts present in the topic. This will make the entire process of studying easier and may increase his or her interest in studies.

    Children should be made to understand the importance of studies. However, be careful that your words do not end up sounding like a lecture. Instead, try to explain the ill effects of not studying and how it can impact your or her future to get your child’s full attention in studies.

    Surprising Reasons Why Your Child Is Not Interested In Studying

    If students are not interested in studying, it is unlikely that they will put in their 100 percent and thus, will not be able to maximise their full potential.

    Thus, this article seeks to provide 6 reasons on why your child lost interest in learning and how you can get them excited again and make them happy.

    Interest Turns Into Obsession

    Young kids get interested in things very easily. They tend to demonstrate an eagerness to learn new things if what they are learning is exciting. Therefore, if kids find the subject they are learning interesting, they will learn better.

    However, this interest can also turn into an obsession.

    Research has shown that kids below the age of 13 spend an increasing amount of time on the computer. However, getting addicted to computer games will jeopardise learning because the kids’ mind will only revolve around computer games, causing them to lose interest in learning.


    I do not encourage you to impose a complete ban on computer games for your children as playing computer games can benefit your children by helping them to relax. However, everything should be done in moderation, and you should limit the amount of time your children spend in front of the screen to ensure that they do not develop this harmful vice.

    Studying Alone Leads To Helplessness

    Some students find studying extremely difficult if they do it alone. When students find that they have nobody to turn to, they start to get tired and give up on studying.

    Introverts are more likely to face this problem. Due to their reserved nature, they find it more difficult to consult their teacher for help. Some may also find it tough to make friends.

    Hence, if your children are introverts, it is fundamental that you give them emotional support and monitor their behaviour. As introverts have the propensity to bottle up and not talk about their troubles, you should show them concern and constantly ask if they need help with their school work.

    Studying Without A Purpose

    It is difficult to get interested in doing anything that you deem pointless. Some parents try to motivate their kids by telling them that it is important to study hard and get good grades so that they will eventually be successful.

    However, you have to bear in mind that your kids may not understand the purpose of being successful in the future. Thus, they may not be able to recognise the importance of studying.

    Instead, tell your children the relevance of each subject to motivate you child to study. You can do so by explaining the practical use of certain subjects in their daily lives. For example, you can describe to them how whatever they have learnt in Mathematics can be applied in measuring things and counting money.

    Boring Learning Pedagogy

    Different kids have different abilities and react to different styles of teaching and learning. For example, some kids simply hate to read textbooks and the sight of long paragraphs of words explaining concepts.

    You need to identify your children’s optimal style of learning. For example, if your children are unable to focus when they read, try playing video lectures on sites like the Khan academy to facilitate learning. They may have a visual mind and are more interested in this style of learning.

    Heavy Workload Causing Burn Out

    Many parents force their kids to take up enrichment classes like music lessons or martial arts classes. This is because they want to equip their kids with as many skills as possible to not lose out to others.

    By doing so, their kids may be overloaded and eventually burn out, causing them to lose interest in everything, including studying.

    Hence, if your children are always complaining about how tired they are, do revise their curriculum. On the other hand, if these complaints are legitimate and their schedule are indeed hectic, make necessary adjustments. Always remember not to overstretch your children.

    High Expectations Resulting In Loss Of Motivation

    Every parent will inevitably want their child to be the best.

    It is easy for parents to set high standards and demand for an “A” from their child during examinations. However, parents must understand the repercussions of setting unrealistic expectations.

    Just imagine putting yourself in your child’s shoes. If your boss gives you a target which is impossible to meet. You will most probably lose motivation because no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to satisfy him or her. Similarly, this is how your children might feel.

    Hence, while it is essential that you set goals for your children, always remember that these targets should be realistic and within your children’s abilities. You do not want them to give up and lose interest in studying, right?

    The above solutions are possible ways to address different causes of loss of interest in studying. You must monitor your children’s behaviour and act accordingly when they demonstrate signs of disinterest in learning before they completely give up on studying.

    In conclusion, forcing children to study is not the best thing to do. The key lies in finding a healthy balance. The best thing to do is to cultivate their desire to learn and develop new skills.

    Hindrance to Freedom. Children find studying extremely irritating and hard due to their preconceived false notions about school and the subjects of their study. Therefore, they eventually feel controlled and they dislike the feeling intensely.

    It is difficult to get interested in doing anything that you deem pointless. Some parents try to motivate their kids by telling them that it is important to study hard and get good grades so that they will eventually be successful. ... Thus, they may not able to recognise the importance of studying.


    • Dr. Olga Abeysekera

      Olga has a PhD in Management from Monash University. Her research focused on how personal differences and social networking impact creativity in the tech industry. She has extensive teaching experience at universities and private tutoring centers, praised for her engaging methods and clear insights. Olga also writes for top academic journals and creates innovative programs that enhance skills and consulting methods. She believes in the power of education to inspire ongoing growth in both studies and careers.

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