#1. Show Interest - Let your child know their education is important to you. Show your child you care by getting involved and taking an interest in what they are learning and doing in school. Reach out to your child’s teacher to introduce yourself. Get involved / volunteer in the classroom if possible. Ask questions and have ongoing conversations throughout the school year to know what your child is learning and identify any problems before they escalate.
#2. Make sure your child is ready to learn. Set your child up for success by ensuring your child is getting plenty of rest, good nutrition, and exercise. Adequate sleep, nutrition, and activity are vital and can impact every aspect of a child’s development and learning.
Help your child understand the importance of balanced nutrition and get them involved in planning for food choices.
Identify and remove any obstacles such as electronics before bed that interferes with sleep. Check in with your child about their sleep, are they waking up, do they struggle going to sleep, etc. Identify any disruptions in sleep that could potentially lead to behavior or learning problems. Speak with your child’s doctor or therapist if you have concerns.
3 Provide routine and structure. Most of us, especially children thrive on structure and predictability. It can make children feel safe, by creating an atmosphere that feels predictable.
Be intentional with the time you have with your child after the school day. Have time for activity, and homework, and eat dinner as a family, whenever possible. Set limits with electronics, especially the hour leading up to bedtime. Make sure they have activity/ movement after school.
Avoid morning and evening chaos, by planning ahead, and encourage organization by having a central location for book bags and things you and your child need for the next day. Make sure to schedule more time than what you need in the mornings and at bedtime to avoid the stress of feeling rushed. This can make morning and evening times more pleasurable.
4. Communicate - Talk to your child about how they feel about school. Help them problem solve any problems that come up whenever possible. Avoid fixing problems too quickly. When we are too quick to fix our child’s problems we send a message to them that they are not capable. Be realistic and provide them with support whenever tackling issues that may come up. Create an atmosphere of trust so that your child can come to you when issues arise. Encourage them to share the good things about their day as well as the things that were more difficult.
5. Model a positive attitude towards learning. Read to your child or with your child. Research shows that children whose parents read to them and read with them are more successful learners. Encourage a growth mindset. When parents praise their children’s efforts, it encourages children to work hard. When parents praise how hard their child worked on accomplishing a task, a good work ethic is promoted.
6. Intervene early- If you see evidence that your child could be struggling academically, socially, or exhibiting symptoms to suggest behavioral or psychological difficulties, reach out to your child’s teacher, school counselor, or mental health professional. Early intervention and prevention are key to your child’s long-term success.
If you have questions or concerns related to your child or teen, Don’t hesitate to reach out. Reclaim Counseling and Wellness provides support and treatment for children, adolescents, and adults.