Here’s the last tip in our series.
Just to review:
Tip 1. Identify the problem
Tip 2. Help them decide on an action plan
Tip 3. Be their compass
Tip 4. Come up for air
Tip 5. Reward their efforts
Our role is a constant and committed one. We want the very best for our children. We know how tough the world is and we want to equip them to be successful in it. As we applaud their efforts, even the smallest of steps, we help build confidence in them. As they rise up and do what they should, we need to reward them for a job well done. We may not be all the way home yet, but certainly on the path to getting there. By our positive feedback, we help our kids stay on track and give them the encouragement they need to run the race all the way to the end.
Tip 4–Come up for air
When grades and school become a focal point, we can tend to get tunnel vision and only see our children in their role as students. We need to relax a bit and remember that by developing them as well-rounded individuals we help to make them better students as well.
What do they like to do? Where do they excel? They need to also hear good, upbuilding things about themselves and know that there is more to life than just getting good grades on their report cards. Draw out every gift, every talent, and every area of strength and interest that can help them feel excited about their school year. Sports, clubs and after school activities can help our kids feel like they are still part of things at school even though they may be struggling academically. As we relate to our kids as people, not just students, our relationship with them will be based on our strong, unbreakable bond not on their performance.
Tip 3–Be their compass
As we continue looking at tackling our kids academic challenges, we know that it’s not enough to just get the ball rolling and walk away. This is the time to monitor progress by checking the school homework site, staying in touch with teachers and counselors, and remaining vigilant about helping our kids stay on top of the school work brought home everyday.
This is also a time to assist them as they learn more about themselves-the way they learn, the topics that interest them, the gifts and talents they’ve been given and what they might be able to do with all of it. It’s important to encourage them so that they see that even subjects and activities that might not seem to have any relevance today actually prepare them for their future, promote their mental development as well as help them gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the world around them.
As parents, we know all to well how important it is to cheer our kids on if they may have drifted a bit or reel them back in if they seem to have totally lost their way. We need to be their compass and offer them guidance and direction. Our input is so vital to their academic progress and success.
Tip #2 — Help them decide on an action plan.
Once you know what the real deal is, you can then help them develop a plan and strategy to cope with their issues. Perhaps they need to stay after school or get a tutor. Maybe they need to hang with a different circle of friends or they need help getting organized. Whatever the case may be, we as parents can do more than just help with tonight’s homework; we can help set in motion strategies they will use in school and in life.
At times we may feel that we want it more than they do. I have been there more than once. It is here that we have to be prepared to implement short-term solutions toward long-term goals. It can be difficult to help a child think beyond next week. But as we talk with our kids and help cultivate their interests and strengths, we help them see that they are in the driver’s seat of their own future.