The school year is about to begin. Many parents are wondering, “What are the best parenting tips to help my child get off on the right foot while beginning new school year?” Below are some parenting tips from a twenty-two-year school counseling expert.
1. Whether your child is entering a first grade or college, sit down with him, or her, and have a positive discussion on what school is all about. Keep the conversation light and strive to get your child talking. Stress that school is a process. It takes time. Mistakes and failure are going to occur. Share with your child that learning is life-long and if they do not understand something now that it will be learned later.
2. Ask your child what they need to be successful in school. younger children will need more help in this area and you may have to have assistance from your child’s teacher(s) in order to discover the needs of your child. These needs include supplies, emotional support, educational support (tutoring) and other academic needs of concern.
3. Be prepared to stay engaged with your child’s education without owning it. This is your child’s education, not your, and you want to avoid becoming a helicopter parent swooping down and saving them from failure. In fact, it’s important to realize that failure is part of the process.
4. Be supportive of your child’s school, the teachers, support staff, and administrators. There have been tens of thousands of teacher lay offs this past year and class sizes are going to be bigger than they have ever been before. Be supportive, realistic and non-threatening. Volunteer, get involved!
5. Be careful not to overload your child; especially with teens! Too many children are doing too much. Parent and teacher expectation is sometimes set way too high for the child’s physical, social and emotional development. Avoid pressuring your child to participate in too many activities at one time.
The author of this article, Scott Wardell, has been an educator for the past thirty-two years and has been a middle school counselor in Minnesota for the past twenty-two years.