You may remember back to your own school days and think about how difficult it was to finish a paper, do your math homework, or even pay attention in class. Now, you’ve got your own children facing the same difficulty in focusing, feeling motivated, and interested in their education.
As their parent, making certain that your child is doing their best and trying hard is very important in their future successes. While great grades, a diploma, and multiple degrees does not necessarily automatically make an individual successful, pushing your kids in positive ways to do their best and work hard will create an optimistic future, instill good work ethic, and create lasting results in character building. Teaching your children self motivation is more important than you constantly pushing them or threatening them with trouble if they don’t do well in school.
It’s always easier said than done, however, but these few tips will help you avoid niggling arguments, book throwing fights, and constant supervision. Each child is different and may handle the following tips in different ways- try them all and see which works best for you and your child.
- Add Extracurriculars
While many parents think that additional activities along with school may take away the focus from their school work, the opposite actually may occur. By involving your child in extracurricular activities such as sports, musical practices, or dance classes offers valuable lessons in time management, healthy sportsmanship and competition, character growth, and accountability. Expectations from their team members or peers will also push them to work harder in different aspects of their lives, which will include school work. If you do find that any outside school activities are actually taking away focus or positivity towards their education, you may counter your child and tell them they may continue to participate in the extracurriculars if they maintain a specific rank in their school work.
- Help them Set Goals
Giving your child the opportunity to reach a goal is extremely important helping them to set those goals is vital in giving them something to work towards. Make sure the goals are within reach so they don’t feel disappointed in themselves all the time, but with boundaries and goals set your kids may reach towards something harder to achieve something specific. Make sure you continue to encourage and assist them as they try and meet their goals!
- Create a Positive Learning Space
Learning is constantly done throughout life, whether you want to or not. To actually appreciate education and learning is a whole different thing. Creating an environment that your kids will actually like to learn helps in their focus in different learning situations. Reading with them at home, playing educational yet interesting videos or games, and talking about school with them in casual and positive ways will show that you are as interested in growth and learning and that they aren’t alone. Leading by example is the best way to go, so when they see that you enjoy reading outside of school or that checking out new species of animals discovered online is interesting- they may associate learning with something that’s actually fascinating rather than forced.
- Set up Study Groups
Instead of making your kid sit alone to do their homework every day, set up a weekly study group where they can get together with their friends and classmates in a safe and controlled setting. Having the support of others in their position can help move them forward, and having small bowls of snacks and support will help keep them motivated. Just make sure you keep an eye on things and help them to manage their time, this isn’t a time to “hang out” or “play”, but to do school work in a different space with peers.
- Praise and Encourage
When your child has done something well, don’t hold back and praise them! Sometimes as parents we congratulate or reward too often, making our children feel entitled, overly special without the need to put in hard work, and sometimes lazy. While of course your kids will fail at times, encourage them at low points but when they do something especially well- let them know that you acknowledge and admire them. Recognizing their efforts will make them feel like their hard work is paying off, constantly criticizing them and admonishing them for not doing something well usually won’t fix the problem and will ultimately cause resentment, anger, and sometimes outright rebellion; exactly what you don’t want!
In the end, you want your child to glean as much information as possible from their schooling and to be able to utilize it currently and later in life. If they come to you with questions, don’t brush them away- take the time to listen and help if possible, but make sure they are putting in the work and solving the problems themselves. Sometimes all they need is a little guidance, support, or a steering in the right direction.