Once parents send their little ones off to school, big changes take place. Children grow up, quickly at that, and it’s often so fast that parents find themselves asking if they did everything they could to set them up for success in school. This is a common question among parents as their investments will finally show up in their child’s work. Parents naturally want what is best for their children and to make each day count. However, once school begins and they are no longer fully in control, how do they do that?
Listen to Your Child’s Teacher
Teachers are there because they are qualified and often know how to best help your child. No matter what they recommend, you can guarantee it has been well thought out and passed along to you for a reason. Trust that they know what they are doing and listen.
Allow Your Child Independence
Parents have been there for their child’s every move such as first steps, the introduction of baby food, etc, and they want to be there for everything else. However, it is important for parents to remember that children grow when they are most uncomfortable. Everyone needs to break out of their comfort zone from time to time, and that is especially true for children. A quick example is this: did you know children learn to write by sounding out words sound by sound? Are they spelling it incorrectly? Absolutely, but do children sit there with a dictionary flipping through the pages to figure it out? No. They learn by being independent, gaining confidence from that independence, and pushing forward to the next skill.
Do Those Daily Requests
Are you tired of your child’s teacher telling you to have your child read for those last 20 minutes before bed? Are you cringing at the thought of sitting there and doing another math worksheet with your child who is fighting you to play video games? You’re not alone. However, the average student who reads for 20 minutes a night for the entire school year will not only become a better reader, problem solver, and writer, but he or she is often the one to perform the highest on standardized tests. In other words, follow the requests of your child’s teacher.
Create a Balance
As with anything, there needs to be a healthy balance between school and other areas of life. Everyone knows many countries strive for pushing their child to achieve, achieve, and achieve some more. However, children need a break from school. To perform well, children still need that playing time to enhance creativity, problem-solving, and social skills. Send them off to school, do those little added benefits, and the rest of the time, have them indulge in life. This leads to success in school.
In life, people get what they put into things, and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. Teachers find it is sad to see children try to perform well at school when they are sleep-deprived. It is equally sad to see a child try to perform after they have eaten a lunch that offers the body nothing but processed foods and sugar. For your child to develop optimally, they must be fed properly — both mentally and physically. A child’s brain development is 90% complete by the age of five. Make those early years count and fill them with what the body needs to thrive.
Enforce a Positive Mindset
Children are extremely adaptable and absorbent creatures. They learn from those around them, and one of the first things they learn is different perspectives on life. Children need routine and structure to thrive, but they also need to learn the impact of a positive mindset. Teachers are naturals at instilling this, but it is important that parents follow along as well. Talk negatively about school? A child’s brain will associate school with negative thoughts. Talk fondly of school, its importance, and all the opportunities it offers, and a child will flourish with gratitude and positivity.
Children won’t achieve 100% on everything. That is life. Children need to learn resilience, be forgiven, and then be encouraged to continue on. Those subtle differences that lack criticism is what will take them down the right path and towards success in school.
The school years for children seem to take forever, however, to a parent, they will be done within a blink of an eye. Comparing kindergarten pictures to senior photos will be an event that comes before you know it. To make those school years successful and stepping stones to the right path, consider the tips above.
Are you looking for more information? Read Parental Transition: Surviving Your Child’s First Year at Post-Secondary.