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Although life offers no guarantees, we have to do whatever we can to help them get on the right track. That means we have to provide the right kind and amount of support that every child needs in their academic career.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we need to brush up on every single subject they are studying at the moment, nor should we sit by their side all the time, watching them acquire knowledge. On the contrary, our support should aim at instilling their self-confidence and independence more than anything else. So, what is it that we can and should do to help them?
Failure is natural.
Most kids feel frustrated when they fail and that is completely normal. They want success and they want it now. What they often don’t understand is that success comes after a lot of hard work and, in almost every case, several failures along the way. Our kids don’t have the life experience we have, which is why we have to teach them that failures do happen and that it’s important to try again when they fail. Kids playing a sport should learn that before others, so getting them to play a sport they like is beneficial both to their physical and mental health.
Let them follow their passion.
Nobody is equally good at everything. Consequently, we can’t expect our kids to excel at everything they do. However, recognising what they’re good at and what makes them happy is vital. Allow them enough time to explore their passions. In doing so, you might help them build other important skills. Let’s say your kid is not crazy about reading, but adores something that is (seemingly) irrelevant to their studies. Point out that they could learn much more about their favourite subject by reading a book on the matter or follow a blog related to it. They’ll be doing something they like, without realising they are also honing another crucial skill.
Recognise their struggle.
There will be moments, sooner or later, when your kid will be struggling with some subject. If you recognise such moments early enough, you’ll be able to help them overcome the problem, especially if we’re talking about some traditionally difficult subjects, such as maths. If you can’t help them understand what is required from them, you should turn to a professional. Find an expert in math tutoring, who works with students individually or in small groups of up to three, so that your kid can get the attention they need. Remember that your goal is to help them learn the ropes and build self-esteem as soon as possible and that can’t happen if they’re frustrated because they can’t cope with a subject.
Don’t be too strict.
Some parents believe that a child’s only task is to do well at school. That is simply not true. Apart from academic development, every child also needs to develop their own interests, create a network of friends, and have time for themselves. That’s why you have to allow them some free time in their busy schedules to pursue the activities they are fond of. You may not share their enthusiasm about the particular activities, but you shouldn’t impose such things on your child. We are all different and if your child feels deprived, they won’t be able to concentrate on studying as much as they could.
Motivate them properly.
Although most of us have at some point resorted to threats, such as, “If you don’t do your homework in the next thirty minutes, there’s no Internet for you today,” we need to understand that this is not the kind of motivation they need. Instead, motivation should be focused on the consequence of desirable behaviour and actions. Only then can we expect the kid’s self-esteem to rise and their self-control to be established. Otherwise, they will start thinking about how to avoid punishment, which might include attempts to deceive you, and they’ll believe that life is all about avoiding punishment.
Raising a child has never been easy. Times and approaches have changed, but the goal has always been the same: you want your child to grow up to be a successful, satisfied, and self-confident person who understands the value of hard work and doesn’t shy away from it. However, that goal is almost impossible to achieve without parents’ help.