WANT SUCCESS? AT-HOME HABITS/ROUTINES COUNT
So many children are successful at school because their parents have taught them to be successful at home. At the parent/teacher conference the teacher tells you she would love a whole class of students like your Jane. I know you are thinking, “But you don’t really know my child!”
What you teach at home concerning values, manners, work habits, expectations, consequences, respect, responsibility, kindness, organization, communication skills, time management and a myriad of other cool things does count. So many students come to school with many of these things engrained. It stands out and the teachers love you. Yes they do!
Of course, you are still in the process of teaching and reinforcing these things you value so much and want to see develop in your children. When you see them make mistakes and you wonder whether it’s worth the hard grind, it is. Soldier on great parents! Never give up on fitting your child to be successful in life and of becoming a great future citizen of this nation or of the world.
Consider these things:
- Decide on a set of manners and consciously work on building these in your child. Have fun practicing them. Among these, don’t forget to work on greeting people appropriately, too.
- Teach organizational skills. If you are not good at these, teach your child so that future generations might benefit! Children should learn to have their backpack tidy and ready for the next school day, have their clothes ready to put on the next morning. Ensure that their homework is done and is in their bag. Let them be responsible for this.
- Establish firm routines so that your child knows what to do at given times, especially being ready to walk out the door at the right time every day. A sleep routine is important to ensure sufficient rest is gained. Routines for chores, bathing and eating need to be put in place, too.
- Have a set place available where homework is done free of distractions and at an agreed upon time. Help where necessary, but don’t be tempted to do it for them.
- Let them see you reading so that they see how valuable reading is to one’s life. We can’t expect our kids to see much value in something they can’t see us doing. Read to them regularly and encourage them to use the library. Have special reading times and places.
- Develop good, clear communication channels and talk with, not just at, your kids daily.
- Have a family fun night and a short meeting once a week. Plan for it so that your kids look forward to these times. Avoid using it for scolding the kids about something.
- Make sure they play creatively inside and out, but encourage outside activities more.
- Have limits on technology, but remember this should apply to parents as well.
Remember, above all, that good modeling is one of the keys to growing successful kids.
Written by Brian Burgess, School Counselor, Nashville