This post in an excerpt from the January/Winter 2021 edition of MAMA BRAIN MAGAZINE, a quarterly, digital magazine for women who are juggling parenting and work, and looking for trusted content, helpful resources, and a “village.” Check it out here (and subscribe!)
SET YOUR CHILD UP FOR SUCCESS (COVID OR NOT!)
Here are some helpful reminders about how to start your year off right with your kids:
There are many simple things parents can do all the time (in COVID times or not!) to set their kids up for success in school and life. You don’t need to be a teacher, psychologist, or social worker — you can make a huge impact on the development of your child’s learning and life skills on a regular basis, just by being you!
In our new year, with hope on the horizon about normal post-pandemic life, consider using these easy strategies to set your kids up for success, in every stage of parenting:
Give your child their* own space and privacy, to work, play, and relax.
Set up a personal workspace with your child, for your child. Find a place where there’s some quiet — their bedroom is perfect! Provide the things they need to be creative, focussed, and imaginative. Include books and school supplies, puzzles, toys, instruments, craft materials, and much more. Set up a formal desk with a task light for concentration and homework, and also provide a cozy spot in which they can curl up with a book or screen.
Give your child responsibilities, and with that, they will become more independent.
As parents in this day and age, it’s hard not to want to do as much as we can for our kids. We love to pitch in! Sometimes it’s easier to do things ourselves. I know I’m guilty of this thinking. But the thing is, our job as parents is to put ourselves out of a job. So give your kids chores, and outline some clear expectations. Taking responsibilities increases our kids’ self confidence, self esteem, and feeling of self-efficacy (the belief in one’s capabilities.) As parents, many of us want to do things for our kids to make life easier and better for them (and us too, let’s face it). But in the end, kids are better off the more we ask them to do.
Help your child create a sense of autonomy and a feeling of control in their life.
Give them the opportunity to make several small, meaningful choices in their day. For example, for the little ones, choose a cereal for breakfast, or a recess snack to pack; for the older kids, ask them to schedule their Saturday’s activities in the order they desire: when to do chores and homework, and when and what to do with free time.
If kids feel a sense of autonomy, they become more self-motivated! In my experience, self-motivation is the key to success for kids!
Be a role model with intention, so you’re supporting your child’s positive skill development in your daily family life.
“Walk the walk!” Be aware that our kids are paying attention! We are our child’s first teacher, and they’re watching every move we make. They’re always learning from us about how to behave and deal with life’s challenging situations.
These are simple tips — common sense strategies, really. But they’re easy to lose sight of when life gets busy or stressful. Use them all the time as you raise your kids!
For many more tips, grab a copy of Launch Your Kid: How to Promote Your Child’s Academic & Personal Success (without being a helicopter parent), available globally on January 21, 2021, by Jane Kristoffy, MEd.
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*Their has been used in place of she/he.