What Kids Need: School Performance

Student performance with out parental involvement becomes apathy very quickly for kids.  Stay on top of your child’s school performance by using all of the technology tools, as well as the good old standard ones like a phone call.  Visit the classroom a few times a year when possible.  Arrange for family celebrations when your child moves from a D to a C in a class.  Celebrate these victories as much as the student who earns A’s.  Post your child’s certificates on a bulletin board at home.  When they become a bit outdated, place them in a scrapbook that they can look through, and visually see how they have progressed in school.  When we display report cards and awards that kids have achieved in the home, we give them a validation that says, “You matter.”

Do not compare your child to your other kids or friends or relatives, even in jest of casual conversation.  Treat them as individuals, each with their own set of talents developing at their pace.  Ask instead, are they moving forward?  Are they progressing toward a defined improvement?  Let your kids know that you value good grades, but that you don’t expect perfection.  What you expect is their personal best each time they hand something into the teacher.  Many kids go through a “slump” in their school career, which often seems to set in about 8th-10th-grade years, 13-15 years old.  Instead of scolding them or giving them a hard time, continue to encourage them by offering support and extra help.

Only 47% of the kids surveyed by the Search-Institute (www.search-institute.org) have this asset in their lives.  Less than half of our kids report the support, encouragement, and recognition that has been written about here.  By taking the time to discuss the importance of “personal best” with kids, we help set standards of consistency, perseverance, determination, and reaching up a notch in their lives.  These traits will certainly benefit them for the rest of their lives.  I challenge parents to take time to add this vital dimension to their parenting toolbox this school year and encourage reliable performance in school for their kids.

Yours for Better Parenting,