As the new school year has started, we want our children to have the best year yet. We may think we have no say in how their year goes because we just send them off to school at 8 and don’t hear back from them until the afternoon. While that may be true, we can still help make such a big impact on their year. I know not every parent has the opportunity to stay home and be on top of their kid’s classrooms and volunteer every week. So here are 5 very important tips to help them succeed this year:
- Give them your time
Yes, this one seems pretty obvious but do we all do it? Think about it. We get home from work, start dinner, hurry to clean up, get things ready for the next day, and get ready for bed. And this is usually on repeat all year. It’s great to have a schedule but we need to take out 30 minutes of our day to really have a conversation and listen to our children. They spend most of their day at school and we need to know what’s going on. I remember growing up, my parents only talked to me about grades. As long as I had good grades, nothing else mattered. Think about your day at work. Things that happen at work will affect your family and those around you. The same applies for the kids when they are in school. As much as you may want to rush to put them to bed on a busy day, just remember that they need you in order to succeed.
- Get involved
As stated above, we don’t all have the time to volunteer at school. Yes, it sucks but there are definitely ways that we can still get involved. Make sure you are going to after school programs. For the older kid, we should be attending basketball games and football games with them. Not only will this help us bond with our children, but it will also help us get a feel for the atmosphere in the school. If you start going to their school events from the beginning, they will be more open to you going with them as they get older. Be the parent who is involved. We do not have to be involved all the time. But we need to make that effort to be involved. Ultimately, it is the little things that the kids will remember when looking back on their school years.
- Set goals
From day one, we should be setting goals with our children. This is why #1 is so important. As we talk with our kids, we find out what it is that they like or may not like. We find out what kind of dreams they have and who it is that they are called to be. Obviously, some children are too small to get in depth conversations about their goals. For those children, we can start by setting some realistic and age appropriate goals. Even if it is something as small as learning how to write their name or learning the entire alphabet. Whatever it may be, they should be setting goals so that they can work towards achieving them throughout the year. From a young age, they will learn how to work towards something and will feel amazing once they accomplish it. If they don’t, they always have the chance to make a comeback throughout the year. Overall, setting goals will keep them accountable.
- Extra-curricular activities
Many kids want to come straight home after a long day of school. Others may just want to spend time with their friends. But what they should be doing is getting involved in extra-curricular activities. Even if it isn’t right after school. Sign them up for sports through the recreation department or your local YMCA. Keep their minds busy so that they stay focused on the prize. Make sure you are letting them discover their strengths and weaknesses. They may switch from one sport to another because they realize they don’t like it-and that’s okay. Our job is to be there for them and support their efforts. Now, I know that sometimes we may not have time for extra-curricular activities. Especially, throughout the week when things are hectic. So, even if it’s on Saturday morning for an hour just try to make the time. We want our children to be well-rounded and have the ability to explore our world a bit.
- Be clear about expectations
The school year can get hectic without any organization in our homes. Therefore, setting expectations from the very beginning is so important. Children thrive from schedules and organization. So be stern with them when it comes to the expectations at home and school. They should be aware of what we want them to accomplish and how it should be done in our household. For example, the older kids should know that they should get up by themselves and be ready to walk out the door and 7:30. While, the little ones will need a reminder to brush their teeth and comb their hair before leaving. This will also help us out when trying to get everything done. It will also help the entire family get on the same page.
Let’s all get started off on the right foot this year and help our children succeed!