Parents are the first teachers that children ever know. From the moment they’re born, you’re setting an example and showing them how to navigate the world around them. Every decision, from selecting foods to interacting with others, influences how they turn out. While this is a lot of responsibility, it also has significant power over their worldview. You can use this to help promote an optimistic worldview that will help them navigate every area of their lives. Below we’ll give tips to help your child survive their school experience.
Providing An Emotional Survival Guide For Your Child
- Get Involved With Their Teachers –You don’t have to join the PTA, but make sure that you speak with your children’s teachers and the school staff each year. Reconnect with those who are still there from previous years, and familiarize yourself with new additions to the staff. You’ll quickly learn which ones you can work with to help guide your child through school. Children who see their parents are involved often report feeling better supported.
- Track Your Child’s Progress – Make sure you stay apprised of your child’s progress in school. It’s best to cut off bad grades from the past rather than deal with them when they appear. It’s a stressful experience for both of you, so ensure you help them succeed. You can speak with them about their struggles, work with their teacher for additional help, and ensure they stay on track.
- Homework Is Your Work – While it’s ultimately the child’s responsibility to learn, do their homework, and get it turned in, you can be involved. Keep track of what assignments they have coming due, and ensure they take the time to get them done. This can be especially challenging with longer projects such as book reports. You also want to ensure they think critically about the content, not just absorb it.
- Give Praise Where It’s Due – There’s a long-standing tendency to overlook children’s mental and emotional needs during their school years. Even those getting the support they need at home may be struggling quietly regarding their education. Make sure that you encourage them when they do well and focus on the progress they’ve made rather than their struggles. They’re already intimately aware of where they’re falling short; reinforcing it isn’t going to help.
- Keep Them Organized – Being able to keep track of everything can be a real challenge at any point in life. Children have yet to develop the necessary skills to track their daily responsibilities. This is your opportunity to help them learn these skills and implement them. If you struggle with it yourself, you can help each other out. Sit down and set a schedule together, tracking what each of you needs to do in a day. Then hold each other accountable for it.
Speak To Your Mental Health Provider For Further Guidance
If you suspect your child is struggling with their education experience, consult a mental health professional. The school years can be an exceptionally difficult time for children. They’re learning the skills necessary for their future while also trying to navigate the social gauntlet that is high school. Be sure to be there as their greatest cheerleader.