Teachers have long known that students do better in school when they have parents who are involved in their education. Attendance and grades are better, and there are reduced incidents of violent behavior when a child has involved parents. The following examples are just a few ways that parents can encourage their children to succeed in school.
1. Encourage involvement in an extracurricular activity. Children need to feel like they are part of a group and are accepted by their peers. If students do not feel like they belong through participation in band, honor societies, or athletics, they may well seek that fulfillment through less positive associations.
2. Provide them with a sense of achievement. Make a big deal over even small successes. Everyone likes to be praised for doing well. Post report cards, papers, drawings, or notes from teachers in a prominent place such as the refrigerator or on a memo board. Be sure that your praise is specific and age appropriate for the best results.
3. Help them make wise decisions. Children learn through their actions. Visit with your child about probable consequences of their actions – both good and bad – when they are struggling to make a decision. Be supportive of them regardless of the outcome, and let them know that one bad choice does not define who they are. Teach them how to make better decisions in the future, but hold them accountable for their actions and you will help them develop personal responsibility.
4. Express confidence in your child. Let them know that you are confident in their ability to succeed, and they will develop self-confidence. Help your child establish goals and develop a plan for achieving them. Remember, success breeds success.
With parental guidance, children will develop a positive attitude about school that will be the foundation for future success. Be involved with your child's education and social life, and you will see the rewards immediately. Every child needs an adult for support and encouragement, and mom and dad are a great place to start!