How do you encourage students to do well in school?

Students, especially teens and pre-teens, need encouragement and motivation from time to time to do well in school. Your task as a parent does not end at enrolling your child in an international baccalaureate program in a reputed secondary school in Jurong or getting them the best tutors. It would be best if you actively take charge to understand your child and encourage them to do well at school. You may often find yourself at crossroads and not making headway with your kids, but these few principles will ease your life while dealing with them. 

You can encourage your kids to do well by approaching the problem correctly. Here is how:

Do not overdo

The first step toward motivating children to do well is not annoying them. Parents are bound to feel that they are the ones getting annoyed by kids, but it is a two-way street. If you are a strict parent or enforce specific rules and constantly upset your children with what you say or do, they will not listen to you, even if you have the best advice. Do not engage in power struggles with your children, and avoid making comments that imply that your kid isn’t good enough. 

For instance, a statement often said unknowingly – ‘you can do better’ may seem encouraging, but you are telling them they are not good enough. Do not compare them to their peers, as that will far from inspire them to do better. Instead of lecturing kids, involve them in problem-solving and make them a part of the solution.

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Refrain from using threats, rewards, or punishments

It is only natural to punish, threaten or reward your child to motivate them, but research shows this has the opposite effect. The children’s takeaway is that you love what they do and not who they are and only ensure short-term results. Instead, develop their interest in learning through discussions. Discuss the benefits and joy of learning, explain how the most gratifying careers require effort and time, and discuss their aspirations and hopes.

Give up control 

Children need to believe that they are the ones controlling their life. They will stay encouraged when they realize that their actions will shape their future. Do not micromanage your children; instead, empower them with autonomy so they take responsibility for their actions. This does not mean you abandon them, don’t constantly hover around them and let them know you are there. 

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Emphasize the effort and process rather than the results

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the famous writer, wrote, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Apply this to study skills and life in general. To encourage students to do well, focus on the process; if there is too much focus on the results and your child is unable to achieve the desired result, there are high chances of them giving up. Today, you need to teach your child to be a constant learner to deal with the fast-paced environment. Cultivate a love for learning in your children. 

Don’t treat your child like a project or problem statement that needs to be addressed.

Pre-teens and teens go through a lot of mental and physical changes. At this age, they display mood swings, aggression, defiance, and argumentativeness, amongst other problematic behaviors. Naturally, as a parent, you try to solve the problem; however, it works well if you understand your child’s perspective and actively listen with full attention. When your children feel understood, encouraged, and supported, they will exhibit positive behavior, which will help them in secondary school in Jurong and beyond. 

Develop structures and routines 

Structure and routines are crucial to encouraging your children, and establishing routines helps eliminate most conflicts. Setting homework time between 7 to 9 p.m. will eradicate any conflict related to homework because it will simply be a routine activity to be followed. Without routine, each school-related activity will become a daily battle. 

Empower your children with organizational and planning skills

Over the years, most parents have developed these critical skills and automatically assume that their kids, too, have some excellent planning and organizational skills. But children are yet to develop these skills. Students can often feel frustrated, overwhelmed, and stressed because of the surmounting demands and, in retaliation, may look for an escape route. But with proper organization and planning skills, they will be able to develop a positive attitude towards school and academics as school tasks and studying will become more manageable. Teach your kids to make to-do lists, plan in advance, set time frames for tasks, make a daily timetable, etc.  

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Create an environment where it is ok to make mistakes

Children learn more from their failures than from their accomplishments. Do not place emphasis on instant success, and let your children know that failing is a crucial part of learning. To help encourage your children to do well at school, create a culture at home where they feel ok to make mistakes and learn from them. Share mistakes you made in life, understand their learnings from each mistake & praise them for their effort.

Keep a healthy environment, give your child enough breaks, and ensure they sleep well. When the child is healthy and happy, they will be able to focus more on their studies. 

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