Lots of parents are familiar with the scenario where they ask their child how school was at the end of the day, only to receive a blunt, one-word answer. Your child may not want to talk about school, but the truth is, if you weren’t interested at all they would properly stop trying all together. Being involved in your child’s education can encourage them to work hard, if only to impress you and receive your praise. But how does one achieve this? Here’s some advice from an independent school in Somerset.
Be sure to attend any events at your child’s school, from Parents’ Evening to Sports Day. In doing so, not only will you show your child you care, you will also be able to monitor their personal and academic progress. In fact, it’s probably worth connecting with your child’s teacher throughout the year so that you can stay up to date with your child’s performance and identify any problem areas as soon as possible so that they can be dealt with.
When talking to your child about their school day after you have picked them up, try and stick to open-ended questions. For example, if you say “How was school today?” they can answer bluntly with an “OK”. However, if you ask them “Which lesson was your favourite? What did you enjoy about it?” or “What did you do during your lunch break today?”, they will have to answer with more detail. Talking to your child about various aspects of school, not just their grades, will show them that you have a genuinely interest in their life.
Try and place emphasis on hard work, rather than results. In other words, praise your child when you see that they have been working hard on a piece of homework; don’t wait until they get a grade to tell them how proud you are of them. If they happen to perform poorly on a test or project, don’t be hard on them. Instead, remind them that human beings make mistakes sometimes and we all have to learn from these mistakes and move forward in a positive direction. This approach will show your child that they have your full support no matter what the outcome.