When your child is having trouble in school, it's never right to assume it's from lack of trying. There are a number of reasons why your child may not be doing as well as he could. Maybe he lacks the motivation he needs to keep going when assignments and tests get difficult. He could be embarrassed to participate in class for fear of getting an answer wrong. It could even be that he has trouble maintaining his focus in class.
To help keep your child motivated in school he has to take an active part in his education. This means participating in class, completing assignments and asking questions. This may seem frightening to some children who would rather sit quietly than risk making a mistake in front of their classmates, but it's the only way for them to reach their full potential.
Help motivate your child in school by teaching him how to set goals. Focus on small goals before going for the big picture. For example, instead of setting a goal to get an A in math on his next report card, your child should set a goal to get an A on the next test, or even more specifically than that, to practice his math problems every night. Focusing on small tasks as a means to reach a big goal make the goal seem more attainable.
You should always celebrate with your child when he reaches a goal. This can even be added incentive to make him work his hardest. You could tell him you will take him bowling or to his favorite restaurant when he gets that A in math. After the celebration comes another important step: set the next goal.
Your child may need help with class participation. It takes confidence to raise your hand to answer a question, write your answers on the blackboard or volunteer to help in class; however, this type of participation is necessary for your child to get the most out of his education. So how do you make your child more confident?
Start by finding something he loves to do, whether it is baseball, ballet, painting, or any other activity your child is enthusiastic about. Chances are if they enjoy doing something they will be more apt to take an active role in it. This proactive approach means they will be building their skills, something that definitely increases confidence.
Mary Barrett saw a big difference in her son Christopher's confidence in only a short time after he started doing karate. "He has shown a great improvement in his school work," she said. "His teachers have also seen the difference in him; he participates more in class and shows more self-control."
Not only can this newfound confidence help improve his grades, but it can also help him stand up to peer pressure. If your child knows that something is wrong and has the confidence to say so, no one can force him to do what he does not want to do.
The start of a new school year is the perfect opportunity to find new ways to jumpstart your child's education. All he may need is a little bit of confidence and dedication to reach his full scholastic potential. Karate is an activity that can give him what he needs to succeed, whether that is more focus, the courage to stand up to peer pressure, or increased confidence. Whatever method you choose for helping your child improve in school, let him know that as long as he puts forth his best effort, you will be proud of him.
Teach Goal Setting
The ability to set and meet goals is a fundamental life skill. It allows us to address challenges, determine the things we want to pursue and find a way to go about achieving our dreams. Teaching a child, or even a young adult, about goal setting gives him the skills to succeed at whatever he chooses to pursue. Precise methods depend on the age of the child and the means of best communicating to him, but a few basic guidelines work in just about any situation.
- Explain the importance of setting goals--the things they allow a child to accomplish and the way they set dreams and ambitions in a definable context. Use real-world examples, such as the goal of getting a new bike or finding a good job if you're speaking to a young adult.
- Talk about breaking goals down into manageable steps. They form the path by which the goal will be accomplished. Have the child formulate a concrete plan encapsulating a series of steps to meet a goal, and discuss the soundness and practicality of it with her. If a given step seems implausible, ask her to think of an alternative way of achieving it. Pay particular attention to the first few steps--ways of starting a project that may seem very large or difficult.
- Stress the importance of motivation in goal-setting, and the need to accomplish things in a timely fashion. Younger children may have a hard time understanding delayed gratification, but such a concept is vital to the process. Talk about setting deadlines to accomplish each step and deadlines they matter so much. Without deadlines, nothing gets done.
- Point out that unforeseen obstacles are likely to crop up in any plan, and talk about ways to deal with them. A problem can be an easy excuse to say, "It's just too hard" and give up on a goal. Emphasize that nothing worth doing is easy and stress the need to look for solutions rather than just surrendering to the problem.
- Tell your child to believe in himself. Besides the satisfaction of accomplishment, the purpose of goal-setting is to build self-reliance and to teach children that they possess the tools to do anything the want to in this world. A sense of optimism can cement their drive, while allowing them to grapple with unforeseen difficulties much more readily. Going hand-in-hand with optimism is a pride of ownership--the happiness seeing the goal met and the knowledge that it was reached without any outside aid.
Keep Your Teen's Mind Occupied
Summer break is quickly approaching and bored teen plus idle time can spell trouble for some parents. Here are a few suggestions on how to keep your teen on the right track this summer and still have an enjoyable summer for themselves.
- Suggest a part time job. This one can be difficult, but if approached in the right manner you can persuade them to pick up a job. Help them find something in an area of interest to them. I remember my first part time job working at a supermarket; it wasn't really of interest to me so I didn't take it too seriously. However if it's something that your child will love doing they will look forward to going to work, something very rare in this day and age.
- Summer school. Again if school is something that you and your teen are having difficulty with then this may not be the route to go. On the other hand if your child enjoys learning suggest that will stimulate the right side of the brain. Check in your local area for things such as art, dance, theater, music or even sport classes.
- Another great suggestion is volunteer work. This may be the most rewarding idea of all. There are dozen upon dozen of opportunities for teen to help out in every community. The following web address suggest 20 different areas where teen help is welcomed or if nothing there interest them try local small business that your teen may be interested in. My brother when we were younger would always be at out local TV repair shop, he loved taking things apart so the owner had him open up the sets for him to get ready for repair. He even learned how to fix them himself. To this day he is the first person I call when my set is on the fritz.
- So now you have all these great ideas, how do you get your kid to want to do them instead of spending the summer at their friend's beach house? Well there are two keys to it. First just make suggestions, teen are more receptive to ideas than to being told what they must do. It will give them the feeling that it was their decision and enjoy it much more. Second and I can't stress this enough, it has to be something that they will enjoy. If your child wants to spend the summer at the beach to swim, suggest they become a lifeguard and work at the beach. That way they get to enjoy the beach and they won't be hitting you up all summer for cash, or if they want to fish, suggest they go to their closest lake or river that offers fishing and look for work there.
- Hopefully these ideas will keep your teen on the right track and help minimize poor decision making as a result of boredom.
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