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How Are Your Kids Doing in School?

The year is well underway for your children. It is a good time to examine what is working, not working, what can be changed and how.

  1. Consider their age- the younger the child the more basic the skills. Lessons, academic, social, emotional and so on are continually expanded and practiced with each consecutive year. If necessary buy a good child development book to find out how children develop cognitively, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Parents or primary care-givers teach the most to their children. First by their example and second by their willingness to grow.
  2. Collaborate and keep in touch with teachers. Sometimes kids do not want their parents to know how they are really doing. It is a parents job to check things out with the teacher. Attend parent-teacher conferences and get involved at school.

  3. Areas to be aware of: Your child’s ability to join, cooperate, accept and ask for help, share, empathize, care for self, choose friends, project possible outcomes, deal with failure or success, enjoy self and others, and learn, all contribute to their future successes . Expect that the older the child gets the greater their skills will be stretched.
  4. YOU contribute in many ways outside the classroom. The way you interact with your child outside the classroom is just as important as what they experience at school. Communicate your belief in them.  Find out who they are, what they are interested in, what unique skills they possess.

At the same time consider how you may be parenting.

  1. Beware of using extremes in parenting. Both ignoring a child who is struggling or being over-focused on them is detrimental to children. They do need your support, encouragement, practice and time to grow. Young people get to practice skills in a relatively safe environment for approximately eighteen years before they go off and begin caring for themselves. You be the safe person and provide the safe place for them to grow.
  2. Be flexible yet consistent. Together, with your child, set up a plan for success. Do they have their own quiet place to work? The tools they need: books, paper, pencils? Do you support their study time and have a routine they know, plan on? Are the two of you communicating daily so you really know your child, needs, and struggles. If the schedule needs to change for a day is that possible?
  3. Teach the reality of consequences. It really is quite simple, good grades come from applied effort and the opposite is true. So, if a child is not doing their homework then (consider the age of the child), no going out to play, going to the movies with friends, being in sports . . . till their work is done. Just like you get paid when you work. They get to do things, age appropriate and with your approval, when they do too. SEE NEXT POINT.
  4. If they are struggling for a reason find this out before arbitrarily setting consequences. That reason may be the REAL problem that needs to be addressed. (e.g. depression, drugs, gangs . . .).

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