As parents we often battle with questions revolving around our child’s academic success. We struggle with how to help them at home. How we can support them with their homework and how can we ensure that they are reaching their optimal level. Questions such as these often leave parents feeling stumped. Feeling as though they aren’t capable to help their child academically because they aren’t teachers or qualified. Along with feelings of incapability, their kids simply don’t want to listen to them and/or won’t respond to their suggestions.
I am here to tell you that these scenarios, questions, concerns and struggles around how to support your child academically are happening in homes each and every day. They occur with teenagers all the way down to toddlers. There are answers and solutions to all of these issues, but I am fairly certain they may not be what you currently think they may be. We need to dig deeper than the issue that our child refuses to sit and study their spelling words. We need to dig deeper than the power struggle you and your child participate in about what test score they can expect if they don’t put in the time. This vicious cycle of negative power struggles leaves us all going nowhere fast. The only place these issues of power are taking you and your child, is farther apart, which happens to be exactly what we are trying to avoid. In not meaning to separate ourselves from our kids we are in fact, doing just this. Without meaning to make academics a negative experience, we again, are doing just that.
So, how we do set the stage in our own homes so that our kids feel intrinsically (internal desire) motivated to excel academically? How do we let them know that we are on their side and not trying to work against them?
I can help!! With a 3 STEP PROCESS to get you on your way to supporting your child academically at home and still fostering your relationship.
- Foster your ‘parent-child’ relationship by making that your first and #1 priority, ahead of academic goals!
- Work on character and proper behaviour.
- Encouragement, encouragement, encouragement!
Step 1: This is the most important step of all! If you want to make positive changes in your child’s academic success you MUST re-connect and make your kids feel emotionally attached to the people that mean the most to them, YOU. When your kids aren’t getting their emotional needs met, they are going to rebel. Often this reflects in their school marks and behaviour. In order to help them with school support they need to know that you LOVE them UNCONDITIONALLY! No matter what, you are there for them, to support them along the way. Jane Nelson, Founder of Positive Discipline states, “kids do better when they feel better.” Try to remember this in ALL things parenting, it will help!
Step 2: Focus your attention next on your child’s overall character and behaviour. Once you implement step 1, you will notice misbehaviours naturally and drastically decreasing. Re-connecting your relationship is the key to unlocking many of your kids areas of concern. When kids are struggling with behaviour they are not focusing their attention on school. They are working to get their emotional needs met and school takes a seat on the back burner. Kids whom are misbehaving at school are not in the right disposition to be attentive. When this happens they become very hard to teach. We need to focus more on helping our child behave properly, which stems from home. We, the parents are going to support our kids academically by first fixing behaviour. We need to stop worrying so much about the test score and whether or not our kindergartener can read yet, and turn to our child’s character. Once character issues and behavioural issues are resolved and under control your child with have the ability to focus and remain attentive during the school day and with homework at home. In doing this your kids will begin to reach their optimal academic performance levels. Isn’t that we were trying to do all along?
Step 3: Positive encouragement!! Remembering that kids do better when they are feeling better will help guide us with our levels of encouragement. Show them how impressed you are by their efforts on a particular assignment. How proud they must feel to have completed the project. How you noticed the hard work they put into sounding out that long word when reading independently. Let them know that you know how hard they are working. It’s not about being the best, but about being their best. It’s not about getting the best score in the class or reading at the highest level, but it’s about them reading to the best of their ability. It’ about them wanting to put in the work it takes for themselves to achieve.
With the 3 steps above you will be re-connecting with your child, creating a positive relationship which will help them feel better. In feeling better you will be able to pinpoint the misbehaviours that need addressing in a positive way (contact me for further information on how to accomplish this). With all of this you will be helping them excel academically, acting as a support network and scaffolding rather than the parent who keeps reminding them of all they need to do. Implement these 3 steps and watch how your child’s academics improve at home and at school! Your kids will be thanking you and their teachers will be thanking you too!