Most of a child’s learning happens at school, but the learning doesn’t stop when the school bell rings. A child’s home environment and parental support are important factors in ensuring academic success. Grades and report cards are not the only form of success, as it can be measured in a multitude of different ways. Here are a few guidelines for parents to follow to keep their child’s success at the forefront of their minds.
Show your child the value of education
The right to education is a privilege; yet, it can be hard for children to understand that if they view school in a negative light. It is up to the child’s parents to instill the sense of educational value in them. Parents should be as dedicated to their child’s education as their child is, and that can present itself in a variety of ways. It can mean dropping your children off at school on time every day, showing up to parent-teacher conferences, or being a part of the school community—to name a few.
It is also crucial to note that being successful in school does not always translate to getting good grades. Grades are a simple indicator of your student’s performance, but it does not provide a holistic review of everything else they may be doing in school. Test-taking can come more naturally to some students than others, and that can be reflected in their grades; that does not mean, however, that students with lower grades will not be as successful as the former. Thus, parents should always encourage students to get good grades, but also recognize that grades are not an end all be all. Studies have shown children whose parents place pressure on them to perform well all the time are more likely to have an increased risk of stress and negative well-being. Teaching children values related to people—like kindness and empathy—have been proven to be more helpful at deterring negative effects (depression, anxiety, behavioral issues, etc.) than values related to personal success.
Evidently, there is a line between academic success and personal development that parents need to tread carefully between. Children look towards parents as their first source of truth, so parents should remember to set good examples for them.
Help your child establish a school routine
Waking up in the morning can be the most difficult part for students, especially as they grow older and gain more responsibility in school. With a busy day ahead, it is nice to provide some structure and order for your child to start their day on a good foot. Routines present children with a predictable environment and scenarios, helping them develop healthy self-regulation skills. These skills ensure that children are able to monitor their feelings and behaviors, as well as adapt to any stressors that may arise. Children also get a sense of stability, as they know what to expect of each day.
That being said, your child should also have a say in what they want their routine to look like; this sense of autonomy will make it more likely for your child to stick to their routine—mainly because it was of their own creation.
School routines can detail what mornings, after-school, and evenings look like. An example can look like this: your child comes home from school and immediately begins working on homework; after homework is completed, they are able to watch TV or partake in other recreational activities of their choosing.
Work with them on building a strong work ethic and study habits
A strong work ethic is something that children are not born with, but rather, taught. There are ways that parents can teach children the value of hard work and how to best set themselves up for success in school. School work can be mundane and cumbersome at times, but it is a necessary task that must be completed. It is one of the first experiences children will have in learning responsibility; so, treat school like a job. Set expectations and guidelines for them to follow when it comes to completing assignments and preparing for exams. With responsibility comes consequences, and parents should establish reasonable consequences if their child does not pull their weight. Assigning weekly tasks—like washing the dishes or cleaning their room—is another avenue in which children can learn accountability and obligations. By incorporating this into a routine, children will stop viewing these tasks as chores and more as their personal responsibilities. It is also important for parents to model the behavior they want their children to exhibit. This can be done through showing your child how to do the task or walking them through schoolwork to set examples for your child to reference.
Whether it be finding time to complete school work or putting things back where they belong, time management and organization are essential skills for kids to develop. As students get busier each year, they will gain more responsibility. To avoid the inevitable stress that will come with more work, parents should instill habits like creating a to-do list or organizing work from different classes into separate folders. These skills will follow your children throughout their academic career; the earlier they learn them, the better prepared they will be!
Offer a supportive environment at home
A supportive environment entails one where a child can feel comfortable making mistakes without fear or judgment and learn from them. School is stressful, so it is important to provide a space for your child at home to relax and process their day. Communication is key to establishing trust between you and your child. That could mean listening to your child and offering support when needed. If they are struggling with a certain class, ask them to explain what they’re having trouble with and walk them through possible solutions. If they had a rough day at school, give them the space they need before asking about it or simply provide them with your comfort. It is important to understand and respect your child’s boundaries, as space could be what your child views as a supportive environment. Every child has different needs, so tailor your parenting to your child.
As a parent, recognizing your child’s efforts is just as impactful as celebrating their accomplishments. Your words can affect the way they feel about themselves, as encouragement and praise can instill positive feelings, whereas harsh criticism and demeaning comments can hurt their self-esteem.
Student Hires understands the importance of educating students, especially in areas related towards career readiness and job opportunities. We provide one-of-a-kind programs for students to explore different careers and gain relevant experience before transitioning into entry-level roles. Our vision is to transform communities—and that includes providing support to parents, who play crucial roles in a student’s development. We hope to provide educational articles for parents that will help them understand their place in their student’s development not only in school, but in life as well.
Teachers help shape children’s minds at school, but parents are the ones continuing that development at home. Children are most malleable at younger ages, so a great way to prepare them for the future is to teach them useful skills. School helps bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood, which is why nurturing young minds is so crucial to ensuring their success.