Parenting

Education is a Lifelong Experience

If you think your involvement in your child's education means dropping them off and picking them up from the bus stop is all there is, you are badly mistaken. Parents who are active in the education of their children produce children who do better in school and become lifelong learners.

As parents, we need to accept the fact that school is much more than grades. The entire school day is a learning experience. For all kids that means the time with their classmates and socializing is a big part of their education. Don't fight it, except it. The good grades will come with

your involvement and by following these seven steps.

1.
Listen to your children; they have much to say. More often than not parents tend to half listen to their children. The busy adult world can very easily drown out the needs of your young or not so young child. Do what's called active listening. Mirror back what they are saying. For example, Jane says,"My teacher is a mean old hag". Do not follow your instincts. Say this instead, "You say your teacher is a mean old hag?" If you followed your instincts and said something to the effect that no, your teacher's not a mean old hag, or you shouldn't say that, you would be wrong. When you actively listen, you mirror back what the listener is saying. The speaker will give you much more information about the situation. You cannot be judgmental about what you child says. For example, your child says that he/she was offered drugs at school. Don't get on your high horse about how bad drugs are and all that goes with it. Instead say, "You were offered drugs at school? How does that make you feel?" Then the hardest thing...be quiet and listen.

2.
Read with your children. All kids love to be read to. Even young teenagers. They won't admit it and will never tell their friends, but in the privacy of their bedroom, they will listen. Also, get them involved in the stories. Stories will reveal a lot about themselves.

3.
Have your children read to you. What a great learning experience for you and your child. This will tell you how well they are doing with the entire reading process. You won't need the teacher's assessment about your child's reading progress, you'll know it.

4.


Encourage reading stories. The best lessons in life often come from reading stories. All cultures have used stories as a way of transmitting morals, values and cultural lessons between generations. Have your child see you read stories. Go to the library and book store to pick out some good books.

5.
Be positive and supportive. They are going to make lots of mistakes in life. Didn't you? Whatever they do, try to find the positive aspect of it. Be like a politician and put a positive spin to all your child's mistakes.

6.
Comparing your child to his/her brother/sister or to any other child is harmful. You know that every person is unique with different talents and abilities. Your child is developing at their own rate and are developing their own talents and abilities. The chances are excellent they will not be like their brother or sister.

7.
Be patient. This is the hardest lesson to learn for parents as we all get caught up in out "instant" society. Many skills and lessons take a long time to learn. Experts have said that learning often takes more than 12 repetitions before it's understood.

As you put these steps to use, make sure you follow tip 7 for yourself. Your child is very forgiving of you the parents they love.

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