5 Tips to Help Scholars Who May Feel Discouraged

By December 12, 2018 Blog

It’s often a heartbreaking experience when parents watch their child feel discouraged or overwhelmed. It’s almost the end of Semester 1 at Compass Charter Schools (CCS) and around this time of year, some scholars may start to feel overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities they need to fulfill before the semester ends. CCS is committed to guiding and supporting each scholar to help them achieve their goals and succeed academically without feeling discouraged.

CCS provides a variety of support resources for scholars to lean on as the end of the semester approaches. Scholars are encouraged to communicate with their teachers, connect with their school counselors and turn to their learning coaches for encouragement and guidance.

Here are five tips to help parents who feel like their scholar may be feeling a bit discouraged:

Focus on the Positive

A simple way to support a scholar who may feel discouraged or overwhelmed by their responsibilities is by focusing on the positive things happening around them. Parents can consider going the extra mile to discuss or highlight positive occurrences in their scholar’s life. For example, reminisce about a good grade they earned or a compliment they received. Another great way to help a discouraged scholar feel better is by giving compliments and positive affirmations. Families may want to consider spending time at the beginning of each day or in the evening sharing compliments and positive affirmations with each other. This type of activity is likely to reduce a scholar’s sense of discouragement and increase their confidence. It’s also important to focus on the tasks that a scholar is capable of completing on their own rather than emphasizing what they are not capable of doing. Families may want to consider creating a to-do list of tasks that a scholar is capable of completing independently. This can help encourage the scholar and remind them that they have the proper skills to achieve their goals and fulfill their responsibilities!

Talk About Feelings

Talking is one of the simplest ways that parents can support their child if they’re feeling overwhelmed. We encourage parents to ask a few basic questions to start a conversation with their child and learn more about their feelings. At first, some children may struggle to explain how they are feeling, especially if they’re feeling discouraged. Parents can gently ask discovery questions to find out if their scholar is feeling happy, sad, excited, scared, etc. As the end of the first semester of the school year approaches, there is a lot of work for scholars to complete and submit. Some scholars may express that they feel intimidated, frustrated or discouraged by all of the work that they need to complete. Parents can support their child during this challenging time by being attentive listeners while their scholars talk through their feelings. Talking about their feelings is a healthy coping method that scholars can use to overcome the challenges that they face. It can help them build confidence and create a plan of action to overcome their feelings of discouragement. Scholars at CCS can also always turn to the Counseling Services team for support when they feel overwhelmed and discouraged.   

Set Achievable Goals

School is a heavy responsibility for some children and at times it can make them feel overwhelmed. Parents can help decrease the sense of discouragement by helping their child create small, achievable academic goals and a step-by-step guide to achieve those goals. School challenges children to master several different areas of study all at once while managing deadlines, test dates, etc. That’s a lot! Just thinking about all of that responsibility may make some children feel discouraged and incapable of succeeding. Parents can help their children overcome these negative thoughts by helping them set smaller, achievable academic goals that will help them succeed overall. For example, some families may want to set a daily goal to complete homework. Or, perhaps, set a goal to maintain an excellent attendance record. There are several different goals that families can create to help their scholar feel more in control of their academic journey and less overwhelmed.  

Encourage Problem Solving

When children are faced with a challenging situation they often turn to their parents for support or a solution. Parents have the choice to solve the problem for their child, or to encourage their child to solve the problem on their own. This decision, of course, will vary depending on the circumstances. Parents can ask their child to think about possible solutions to their problems. By doing so, they empower their child to think independently and reinforce effective problem-solving skills. Children are often less likely to feel discouraged when they are able to think of a solution to their problem and a way to end their distress. When tasked with the responsibility of finding solutions to their problems, children often develop a stronger sense of creativity and innovation.

Look at the Big Picture

Parents can support their child during tough times by helping see “the bigger picture.” Sometimes, children feel discouraged because they can only see their current situation and the obstacles right in front of them. Parents can help their children feel less discouraged by reminding them that the challenging time will end eventually. This is a great opportunity for parents to discuss the future with their children. What do they want to be when they grow up? Or, what do they want to accomplish this year? Thinking about the future can help children see the bigger picture and feel less discouraged by their current challenges. It can also help them understand that they will continue to face challenges in the future that may make them feel discouraged, but that it’s important to carry on and overcome all obstacles!


Compass Charter Schools (CCS) is a WASC-accredited virtual charter school that serves families throughout California. Interested in learning more about CCS’ flexible academic programs? Visit our website, or contact our enrollment team at enrollment@compasscharters.org or (877) 506-8631.

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