Wednesday, March 5, 2014

7 Ways To Help

This year has been a hard year for academics in our house.  My oldest son has been having some issues in school which leaves him (and me!) feeling so frustrated by the end of the day.  Home work has been a constant fight because he is already feeling so frustrated that suggesting we do homework or practice just ends up in a blow up, crying screaming temper tantrum (generally on his part although I feel like doing the same thing!)   He's only in 2nd grade, so I feel like we have to get a handle on things now to help him better in the future.

Young boy
 
This year I have had to learn (and I still am!) how to be my child's voice; how to voice my concerns to a teacher that I feel doesn't care and how to try to help my son improve and feel less frustrated! 
 
There are so many ways, and tools, out there to help a child who is struggling in school.  Here are some good tips that I helped me a lot!
 
  • Stay Calm!  Recognize that you are not solely responsible for your child's performance.  Although it's hard not to be in total control, your child's performance depends on him/her and the teaching as well!
  • Stay away from "You are so smart" phrases!  I remember years ago (back before I was a parent) hearing this advice and seeing studies to explain why you should stay away from phrases that praise your child's intelligence but never really took much stock in it- until I became a mom.  Now I get it!  When a child is struggling they may not feel smart, and of course we want to say "you are so smart" to try make them feel better, instead try praising them for their hard work! 
    • Children who are praised for putting in effort are more likely to keep trying when they encounter setbacks. They know they have control over their ability to learn.
    • Children who are told they are smart have a harder time with school. They give up when they have to complete assignments that leave them feeling “not-so-smart”
  • Don't Get Mad! Instead of getting mad or frustrated with your child's poor performance or bad attitude, try instead to respond with kindness & understanding.  By responding to your child with anger and frustration, you are actually decreasing their motivation to do better! 
    • It is important to tell your child periodically that you love them no matter what their problems in school are.
    • Try to place your child's homework responsibility on them.  Try saying something like: "Are you satisfied with the way this looks/that grade?" or  "I am sure you are disappointed with that grade, let me know how I can help you!"
  • Keep The Relationship Positive! The best thing that you can do is to keep a loving relationship with your child! Children who feel unconditionally loved tend to do better in school.  Don't let your child feel that your love and approval is based on their performance in school.
    • Make sure you are spending quality time with your child that doesn't have anything to do with school work.  For instance, everyday Saturday is family day at our house.  We don't talk about or do school work at all.  We go ice skating, or to hockey games or whatever the boys want to do!  They love it (and so do we!)
  • Get Tested-  Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and everyone learns differently.  There are standardized tests that can help pinpoint learning weaknesses.  Always try talking to your child's teacher to see what they would recommend or what they have noticed might help.  More importantly, make sure you are keeping the lines of communication open with your child!

About the Author

Hi there! My name is Nichole!

I have a passion for fitness and helping others!

My family IS my life. I know how hard it can be trying to juggle it all. My goal is to live a long, healthy life to see my children grow up, so our fitness and health is very important to me!

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