"Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family." – Kofi Annan As a parent, you wish for your children to be successful in life, be happy and find a career that will satisfy them both emotionally and financially. At the first glance, this doesn’t seem as something parents of young kids should worry about, but that success is a seed planted in early days of schooling, and if nurtured properly, it can grow to become a strong empowering tree. That seed is called love for school, and it is planted by the hands of parents. If you want to be that kind of gardener, here are a few tips on how to accomplish that.
Teach by example
There is no better way for a parent to plant an idea or a behavior in their kids’ mind than by setting a positive example. Show how much you love education, by continuing to learn throughout life. Read a book and make sure your children see that. Take a course (e.g. foreign language) and continue to work on improving yourself.
Help Them Know Their Career Fit
Often, parents push kids to fall into a career that suits them (parents), which is wrong. Just because you're a scientist doesn't mean your child would love working with NASA. They might take a different career path such as music, production, or even filming.
Help your child find their career fit by offering advice when they ask about a specific course. This is a signal for openness. Depending on the dynamics of your parent-child relationships, you can gently introduce the subject.
Remember, your role is a coach. We need to encourage this next generation to become what they want. Ensure you shadow a professional. Has your kid ever wondered what a family nurse does? Why not introduce them to a nurse with an MSN FNP degree for shadowing?
Ensure you arrange informational interviews with the people in the same career path. Let them feel encouraged and intrigued to take their studies seriously.
Make learning fun
Kids don’t like boring things, and if learning is turned into a chore, they will rebel and avoid doing it. However, studying can be creative and fun. For example, when you are going through spelling, toss a ball back and forward to learn the words – each person who catches the ball says the next letter. Learn fractions with cookies (yep, that means that one kid gets the chance to eat half of the cookie), or perform a science experiment at home… The possibilities are endless.
Help with homework and mastering some subjects
Of course, it is important to raise independent kids, but that doesn’t mean they should do everything on their own. Especially when the kids are young, it is important to help them with their homework. You don’t have to do their tasks for them. Just be there if they have some questions. If your children have difficulties with some subjects, you shouldn’t force them to study by heart. If you are able, try explaining it to them yourself, but if it is something outside your reach, consider enrolling them in an expert tuition centre. Some of them even offer free assessment that will help you get a clearer picture of your child’s progress compared to other kids of the same age.
Put an accent on friendships
All of us remember our school friends fondly. Kids who don’t have friends are not very prone to think positively of going to school. So, when the kids are young, you can meet the parents of their peers, and set up playdates. That way they will cherish those friendships for years to come. Organizing birthday parties and inviting kids from school is also a great idea.
“It’s not the end of the world” approach
All parents wish for their kids to have good grades, but if kids are afraid of bringing home anything less than an A, they might find studying and tests to be too stressful. So what if they scored a C- on a math test? They’ll do better the next time.
Create a space for them
Kids are more likely to study if they have a designated homework area, where they will have access to all the books and other things they need for studying. It’s also important that this area is free of distractions, such as a TV, computer or smartphone. If you manage to make that space more inspiring by creating a chalkboard wall where they can practice math and spelling, hanging motivational posters and adding educational toys they will fall in love with it. You shouldn’t expect your kids to grasp the importance of education, especially at a young age, but you can teach them to cherish acquiring new knowledge and going to school. In return, they will cherish education and excel in it, even if they fail to see its role in creating a successful future for them.