A Parent’s Worst Nightmare
Parents can’t help it. The moment their children spring forth into the world, parents worry about their little ones with every breath they take. Accidents, deaths, failure—these are just some of the worst nightmares parents have.
A less alarming, but still troublesome problem parents have is the possibility that their child might fail in his classes. Every parent wants his or her child to constantly be ahead of the pack and to top every class, but sadly, this isn’t possible all the time. This is why parents need to know how they can be there for their children in times of academic difficulty.
The kids might be the ones taking the exams and going to school, but at the same time, their parents are worrying like crazy over their academic performance. No doubt they worry that their children will be judged by their classmates and teachers, and how they perform is a reflection on their parents. The old saying “Learning starts at home” can really increase the pressure and force parents to take whatever measures are needed to ensure that their children perform brilliantly in class.
If you want your child to excel academically, here are some guidelines on what you should and shouldn’t do for your child.
What not to do:
Bribery. So your child doesn’t want to study? Don’t promise him food, gifts, or money just to get him to study. This will set off a dangerous cycle and will make the child think that refusing to perform his responsibilities is the key to getting the things he wants.
Coaching and tutoring. It’s one thing to assist your child in understanding certain concepts, but it’s quite another to constantly furnish him with the answers to all of his questions. Instead of helping him become more self-reliant and teaching him to look things up by himself, you are only increasing his dependence on you. This will not help him at all in school, where you will not be around to give him the right answers.
What to do:
Keep a watchful eye. This rings true for both working parents and parents who work at home. You can ask your child how his lessons were for that day, and keep a subtle eye on him while he’s working on his homework. Just make sure that you’re not breathing down his neck and pushing him to study all the time.
Provide much needed help. Again, assisting your child every once in a while is fine. Just make sure to do it in moderation, and that you won’t rush to his side every time he’s stumbled on a problem. You can help him in other ways by giving him a snack to keep his energy up while studying, or by adding some extra details that can help him understand his homework better.
As for your own concerns, remember that if your child doesn’t turn out a stellar performance in class, it is no reason to punish him or love him any less. Just make sure that you remain supportive and encouraging, and remember that there are always many other chances for your child to improve.