"No child I have ever met has gotten up in the morning and said to him or herself, 'I think I'll work hard at disappointing my parents, ignoring my teachers and just goof off today'," says Debi Nason, center director for Roseville, CA's Huntington Learning Center .
Lots of kids will be going back to school this year with bright shiny faces ready to take on the new challenges. And, some of them are still remembering the difficulties of their last school year. The hard part is to avoid a well intentioned comment like: "I'm sure you'll do better this year than last year". Instead of being encouraging (promoting "courage") reflecting on poor performance last year can add a sense of expected defeat.
So, this year here's an idea. Clean the slate. When you send your child off to school, expect the best. Then be vigilant!
Create a consistent method to confirm homework is completed. Frame your question to promote a conversation–avoid opportunities for your child to give you a "yes" or "no" answer. This can be accomplished with open-ended questions:
- "What part of your homework was easy?"
- "What part was challenging?"
- "What would happen if you got special help from the teacher?"
- "Where do you think you can find the information you need?"
And when you can, check in with your child's teacher to assess your child's progress. If you discover that homework is not completed per the teacher's standard or expectations, discuss with your child HOW you can help (not "IF"). On the other hand, if your child get rave reviews, pass the praise along. Make sure your child knows you're interested, involved and enthusiastic about his/her successes and ready to help if there's a hint of difficulty.
For more information about the role of Confidence in promoting a more successful school year, check out an article at examiner.com "Confidence is Key to a Great School Year"
And, for an extra boost for your own confidence to help your child's school experience, check out information about how to Promote Confidence using "Affirmations"