Encouraging a Successful School Experience for Your Child
As school approaches, parents wishing to give their child a good start may want to think about some of the more important elements of education in their child’s life.
Discussing education in a positive and enthusiastic way, rather than reflecting on the end of the summer with dread, creates a positive mindset for the child. Remind him that he or she will see friends not seen for several weeks, resuming activities, such as athletics, band, drama classes, and participating in school clubs, such as math and foreign languages.
Let your child know that you expect school to be among his highest priorities. Share your hope that he or she will see education as a challenge and an opportunity rather than as drudgery and something to avoid.
The first day of school can be stressful. If the child is entering school for the first time, separation anxiety may require extra time by the parent to ease the transition.
Related to separation anxiety is school refusal. Talking to the staff at school, especially the school counselor, may help identify and recognize triggers for separation anxiety and school refusal. The more problematic cases may require professional consultation with the child’s medical doctor and, perhaps, a mental health professional.
But a good rule of thumb is to talk to the child in a relaxed manner about the importance of the day, then send your child to school properly dressed, well-rested and well-nourished.
Build good communication skills with your child, his or her teacher and other school staff members. Show an active interest in his work. Keep family discussions about knowledge and school at a positive level.
Emphasize his or her need to show respect for school personnel. Become involved in PTA and other volunteer parent organizations at the school when possible. Parent involvement shows, by example, commitment to the school.
Set priorities for home study. Have a place available for the child to concentrate on school assignments. Monitor the amount of time your child spends watching television, playing video games and talking on the phone.
Encourage reading and involvement in activities that have educational value. Promote interest in educational programming when the television is on. Parents should be good role models by monitoring their own viewing.
Proper preparation and a positive attitude from parents can boost the likelihood of a successful school experience for the child.
Harold H. LeCrone, Jr., Ph.D. Copyright ©2012