Being short does not affect a person's intelligence - make sure that your child understands this. However, children who are shorter than their peers may have some problems in school related to the stresses of being shorter. With your help, and by paying close attention to your child's progress, many problems may be avoided.
What to look for
Your child may be having achievement problems in school if your child:
- Has low grades that don't seem to improve, or a teacher recommends that your child repeat a grade or be placed in remedial classes,
- Is described as lazy or unmotivated, or causes problems in the classroom, dislikes school and tries to avoid attending,
- Spends more than three hours a night on homework, even when the assignments are not lengthy,
- Brings home large amounts of work that should have been completed during the school day.
If your child is having problems
- Talk regularly with your child about schoolwork and offer to help. Your child will be more honest about problems with school if you are concerned and supportive rather than angry or disappointed.
- Find out what subjects your child has trouble with and work together to improve skills in those areas. Educational tools, such as flash cards or spelling games, are available from bookstores, libraries and stores specializing in teaching supplies.
- Praise your child for improving and for good results in a favorite subject. If your child feels successful in one area, it may help build confidence to try harder in other subjects.
- Reinforce positive results with a fun project. For example, if your child does well in science, take a trip to a science museum or work together on a fun science project.
- Ask your child's teacher or health care professional to have your child evaluated by an educational psychologist. There may be other factors affecting your child's learning that you and the teachers don't know about.
- Find out what resources are available through your child's school, such as counseling and after-school tutoring.