Assess your Parenting Skills for the New School Year

25 Jul

Give Loving Attention to your Children as the New School Year Begins!

As the new school year approaches, parents need to assess their parenting skills to make sure they are doing everything necessary to ensure their children’s success in an academic and social environment.Often too much of a burden is put on the teachers and school administration to “take care of” that aspect of a child’s life.
Parents forget that often the most important lessons are at least partially learned at home. We at Beyond the Horizons Consulting know that you have busy lives, most often with both parents working. You have finances to attend to, household chores, shopping, meals, and maybe overseeing your child’s homework.
How to make time to really observe your child’s behavior and encourage the positive aspects while giving constructive criticism on those areas which need improvement???
Here are some thoughts:
1. Make time for your child to share how his/her day at school went. Pay attention if the child tends to withdraw or is angry. See if you can talk it out, and get in contact with the teacher or school counselor. Remember that your child’s school day is comparable to your work day, and you know that a bad day at work can affect your own mood.
2. If your child needs more guidance on how to do homework or a project OR if s/he needs guidance on respectful behavior, talk with him/her about the issue. Explain what the rewards of improving behavior might be and what the consequences will be if there is no improvement.
Intrinsic rewards are always better than offering your child an I-phone or a new game console. An intrinsic reward might be “having more friends,” “getting an ‘exceeds’ on a report card,” “having more sleepovers.” These types of things result naturally from being a more cooperative family member or student.
3. Read with your child! Reading out loud before bedtime is an extremely important part of the bedtime ritual and one which a child will normally look forward to. After all the self-care activities have been accomplished, the two of you can sit down and read a short story or a chapter of a book you started earlier. Your child will at first enjoy your reading to him/her, but later may enjoy reading to you!
4. VERY IMPORTANT: Try your best not to let your child see conflict between yourself and your partner, whether the conflict is about the child (the worst kind for the child to overhear or experience) or whether it is about something else. It’s OK to let your kids know that you and your partner don’t always agree. That’s normal and healthy. BUT they need to see you work out compromises or at a minimum agree to disagree for the time being.
5. Enrich your child’s life with plenty of cultural experiences: books, educational videos, trips to museums, parks, educational events and so on.
6. ALWAYS SET A POSITIVE EXAMPLE. Show your child what you want from them by being the person they can emulate.
Take a look at my website, or e-mail me at for further tips on parenting skills!

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