This is a continuation of Part One of “5 Tips To Interest Your Child in Physics”.
4. Reward for good marks, encourage for poor.
Positively reinforce your child.
With your child, this may be a common scene in your house: They come home with a Physics paper in hand, and tell you that they’ve done poorly, yet again, in the latest test. Perhaps, they’ve done atrociously.
While your first instinct may to be yell and punish them for their poor grades, it might be beneficial to just stop for a moment, and consider the situation. Ask them what their difficulty is when doing Physics papers, and compliment them on any improvements, or for showing initiative and asking questions in class about concepts they struggle with.
For example, your child might have scored a D7 on their last test, but brought home a C5 this time. A great way to encourage them is to tell them that you have noticed their effort, and that you are proud that they managed to pass this time, along with a tangible reward that they want. If your child is alright with it, even suggest sitting down with them with their Physics test paper, and go through it, looking for common trends and mistakes. An example might be your child applying the correct Physics formula, but in an incorrect context. Helping your child to spot trends is immensely beneficial, as besides gaining some additional insight, they will also feel that you are encouraging and supportive of their Physics journey.
Regardless of whether they are alright with you playing a more active role in their academics, it is important to keep one thing in mind: Do not yell at your child or punish them unfairly. This is a sure-fire way to make them resent you and be afraid of asking you for any help, be it in Physics, or in other subjects.
5. Understand and respect their interest in other subjects.
Physics may not be their biggest interest.
In this article, we’ve been talking about tips to interest your child in Physics. However, what can be done, if you’ve already tried our tips, with minimal success?
Accept that Physics may just not be your child’s favorite subject. If you’ve tried various means to interest your child and bring up their grades, it may be time to move on and stop pressing them to take a greater interest in Physics. Instead, just focus on encouraging them to bring their grades up, with general, non-Physics strategies such as organising notes, or asking questions in class. If they continue not to do well, consider sending them to a physics tutor, just for the aspect of bringing their Physics grades up.
Realising that Physics may not be their love may be difficult for you, especially if you work in a Physics or science-related field, and would like them to follow in your footsteps, or have as great an appreciation of the subject as you do. However, if you push Physics on them too hard, they may actually lose interest, as they start to view Physics as a subject forced on them, not only by the school, but by their very own parents. Hence, you ought to respect your child’s passion and interest for other subjects, without diminishing or dismissing them.
It’s best to try and raise your child’s interest in Physics, alongside their grades. This can be done by things like taking active roles in their academic journey, by helping them target weak areas and Physics concepts they lack understanding of. Gamification can be a very useful thing, especially if your child is not at all interested in Physics. For example, for every mark they improve in an exam, they earn a point, which can be exchanged for “fun things” such as a nice meal or game.
However, if they are just not interested in Physics, despite these strategies, continue rewarding them for good grades, but don’t try to force them to develop an interest. Forcing your child, who is old enough to have their own interests and passions to like something is not going to work. At most, they’ll pretend to like Physics, but despise it the moment they can stop using or thinking about it. It would then be better to concentrate on just boosting their Physics grades and acknowledging their passion for other subjects.