How to be a Great Parent to Your Student (and the #1 Mistake Most Parents are Making)
Yeah, we could build up the suspense throughout this article and then put the ‘big reveal’ at the very end, but that’s not our style. We’re all about providing value here at Eye Level, as quickly and easily as possible.
So here it is. The #1 mistake most student’s parents make is…
Not being involved enough.
Yeah, it’s a bit of a shocker to most parents. But hey, maybe to you it’s not.
Either way, this article will give you some great strategies and routines you can use to help your child learn better.
We’ve compiled for you a short list of the top 3 reasons parents have for not being heavily involved in their child’s education. Chances are, more than one of these obstacles will be familiar to you. But before we get into specifics, the first and most important thing parents need to understand is that
|“It’s not primarily your knowledge that makes you valuable to your child’s education. It’s your relationship.”|
Children can go to school, tuition, tennis practice, piano lessons, etc. all day long, but in the end, it is their parents that teach them the most. Parents have the strongest influence on what and how well their child will learn.
So when you think about it, it’s not at all surprising that the #1 mistake most parents make in their child’s education is a lack of involvement. It’s an enormous role to fill, no question about it.
Now let’s look at the specific reasons why parents are often not as involved as they should be…
1) Feeling Undereducated/ Underqualified
You wouldn’t believe the number of times we’ve heard parents give this as a reason for not helping their child with homework, discussion, etc. And it makes sense, right? It is a teacher’s job to teach, so shouldn’t we leave it to them? Yes and no.
Maybe you can’t teach what your son or daughter is learning at school, but there is another far more important lesson that you can teach your child: the importance and joy of learning. (More details on this in the next section.) If your child enjoys learning and believes that school is very important, everything they learn in school gets absorbed 10x better. You, dear parent, hold the power to this ‘educational upgrade.’
The key is to focus your efforts where you can help the most. If you flunked Algebra way-back-when, don’t try to teach your kid the finer points of Calculus. Instead, give value where you have the most to offer. Every parent can and should–to varying degrees–fill the important roles of motivator, encourager, and questioner. One of the very best ways you can help your child learn is to make schoolwork relevant to his or her personal life.
As a parent, you are uniquely qualified to fill certain vital roles in your child’s education. Stop telling yourself that you are underqualified and try to find new ways you can offer value to your child’s learning! Sometimes the least technical lessons have the greatest impact.
2) Too Busy
We know. This is Singapore. Everybody and their mom have a schedule more tightly packed than the MRT during peak hours. But these are our children. One way or another, we’ve got to make time. But how?
Sit with your child during homework time. Does this mean doing homework with her? Not necessarily. If you have the time, then by all means! But just the simple act of sitting at the same table with her while she does work will do wonders for her motivation and focus. Bonus points if you are reading or working on a project of your own (or at least faking it really well!).
Speaking of reading, make sure to read in front of your child. It can be fiction or nonfiction, for work or for fun. The important thing is that your child sees you take the initiative to reach for a book. Bonus points if you read to your children and/or share challenging ideas with them regularly.
Briefly ask your child about school each day. And do NOT say, “How was school today?” We all know how far that will get you. Instead, keep it fresh with questions like “What was the most exciting thing that happened to you today?” or “What is one way that you grew or improved today?”
Time is certainly in short supply as a parent. Use these tips and keep your schedule intact without sacrificing your involvement in your child’s education.
3) Fear of Being Overbearing Towards Child/ Teacher
Some parent’s fear of being “that parent” makes them less active in their child’s education than they should be. They are afraid that if they become too involved, it will be overwhelming for their child. And we’ve all heard horror stories of over-the-top parents who pushed their children too hard.
But here’s the truth: If you’re worried about becoming “that parent,” there’s really very little chance that you will. And even if you are a bit over-the-top, better to err on the side of ‘too involved’ than the side of ‘not involved enough.’ In the end, teachers would much rather have parents asking a few too many questions than never asking any at all.
If you’re still unsure of how to walk this line, talk with your child’s teacher! Ask him or her how you can best aid your child’s learning process. Find out what methods are best for ongoing communication and stick to them. Most teachers are dying to hear these questions from parents.
So there you have it…
The top 3 things that hold parents back from playing the vital role they have in their child’s education. A shame, isn’t it?
If you can relate to any of these obstacles and are interested in learning more about your role in your child’s education, we can help!
Here at Eye Level, we’re currently offering a free consultation along with a free Diagnostic Test for your child. This is a wonderful way to shore up any lingering questions you have and get to know the enrichment center that has helped thousands of families navigate the same challenging waters that you find yourself in right now.
Sign up for a free consultation and Diagnostic Test today.
*If you liked this article, keep an eye out for our upcoming post on the 5 Essential Things to do Outside of Class to Boost In-Class Learning. As long as you keep showing up, we’ll keep bringing the value.