Secrets to School Success
Another summer is quickly fading and fall will be emerging shortly. This means another school year for many kids will start soon. I have heard parents give out a sigh of relief that their kids will be returning to school after having them under foot for the summer months.
And while parents may be ready, I wonder how many kids are not as excited to go back to school. Even when some parents think about it, they too wonder what this school year will hold for their child. School brings about different challenges for different kids. For some it is a constant reminder that they don't measure up to other kids. They are constantly comparing themselves to others and when they don't it puts them in a place of having to either agree that they just aren't as good as others or they have to resist it and prove that they are and this will show up with rebellious behavior. Either way, the child isn't free to just be him/herself.
Some children dread going back to school based on their past experiences. Maybe their last teacher didn't support them and now they have a fear about their up coming teacher. Of perhaps your child is one of those that gets picked on by other kids causing added stress. School is not only a place of academic education, it is also a place of social interaction and when a child is introverted, different and unsure of him/herself this brings up added anxiety.
So what can a parent do to assist their child to having more success in school both academically as well as socially?
The tips I am about to share with you may surprise you. For the best way to help your child deal with school issues is to first look at your own beliefs, experiences and expectations about your own education. How did you respond to your experience in school? Were you one of those that didn't fit in, had trouble learning, or even had trouble making friends? Or was school a positive experience for you- getting good grades, making friends with ease and sailing through from grade to grade? Regardless of your situation, I wonder if it has any bearing on how you approach education with your own child. Do you have expectations that were forced on you and now you have those same expectations of your child? What is most important to you about your child's educational experience? How different is your child from you that they require a different approach in order to be successful in school?
As you examine this area of your life and what it all means to you and for your child, allow yourself to distance yourself from your own experiences (this may be a good time to address some of those issues and how they may still be affecting your life) so you can get clear on what your child needs. Begin to ask if there is something else that is possible for your child that you haven't thought of. Include your child when making changes and ask them what they would like to do or have.
Would you be willing to allow your child make some choices that would allow him/her to learn what works best?
What if you could be less attached to the outcome and be more in the question of what's next and what would be the best contribution to your child?
Keep in mind that what you think is best, may not be what is best in the long run. You are basing your decisions on what society has taught that education should be and how a child is supposed to move through it. More and more kids are not succeeding in school because of those expectations. Taking a good look at your own expectations and setting them aside, will allow your child to see that you are in allowance of their learning looking different and allowing them to succeed in their own way. I have witnessed many kids search for different options in schooling from online schools to alternative to traditional and what I have found is that the child who makes this quest because he/she believes that there is something wrong with them, they often go on to struggle with making a life for themselves later. And for those kids who are supported in looking for what will work for them, never judged for being different and even celebrated for making some "out of the box" choices for learning find their way and go on to discover their life journey with more ease. These kids have been able to measure their success by different standards-their own.
What if having a diploma wasn't the most important accomplishment in life? And yet what message do we throw at our kids while in school? Get good grades, move on to the next level, graduate at all costs, and go to college. I won't disagree that there are rewards for those who complete school, and yet as this author knows, life is what you make it and whether you have a degree or not, life is worth living to its fullest, however that is interpreted by the being.
As this school year begins, whether your child is in Kindergarten, elementary, middle or high school or even in college, what issues would you like to help your child through? Feel free to post your questions below for more insight to how you can support your child this schoolyear.
Mary Dravis-Parrish offers classes and workshops on Secrets to School Success. Check out her event page for more information.
Mary shares her desire to create different possibilities for families and individuals who are looking to live a more conscious and aware lifestyle. BE YOU Parenting is for parents who want to BE all that they truly BE and to allow their kids the same privilege.