5 Realistic Ways To Help Your Child Hit Their Full Potential At School

Priyanka Elhence
·3-min read
PHOTO: 123RF
PHOTO: 123RF
PHOTO: 123RF

We all want our kids to do better than us and to achieve the maximum possible right?

But while we want them to be the best students, we often forget that the mind frame and confidence levels that children bring to school matter just as much as what they learn in the classrooms. Love the child you have, not the child you wish you had, and give them the support structure to achieve their best at school and be proud of who they are.

Consider these 5 tips on nurturing happy children so that they can do their best every day:

1. Health matters

Eating well, sleeping enough, being active and having a balanced lifestyle are some of the simplest things you can teach your children. Sleep is integral to learning and memory consolidation, and children typically need at least eight hours a night. Not getting enough sleep quickly manifests as fatigue and an inability to concentrate at school. Help your child realise the value of sleep and model good sleep habits such as putting away devices and prioritising reading over watching TV before bedtime.

2. Value goals over grades

They say life is about enjoying the journey, not arriving at the destination. Ditto for school life. Yes, grades and academics are important, but equally important is the process of learning, both in the classroom and on the playing field. Instead of telling your child to get straight As, teach them to push themselves to improve just one grade compared to their previous grade. Small goals are easier to achieve on a more regular basis, rather than make a big pressurised leap that might not be realistic. Improvements don’t happen on a daily basis, so maintaining a long-term growth perspective sets them up for success at every age. Setting a challenge, and then learning and striving to be better is a valuable lifelong tip for all of us, not just a school goal.

3. Enforce that failure eventually leads to success

As parents, we know that making mistakes and failing are not only inevitable, but they are actually good for growth. Failing develops grit and resilience, and how can you improve your skills at something if you aren’t bad at it? Experts say that encouraging your child to increase their failure rate (‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…’) is the best way to increase their learning and develop their success in any field. Tip: An easy way to instil a low fear of failure and the resilience to push through is to engage your child in a game of chess. Not only does a game of chess positively impact logic, problem solving, maths, memory and strategic planning, it also requires discipline and concentration, all of which are valuable skills at school too.

4. Be honest about their achievements

We all think we have the best, most special children, and rightly so! But be wary of overpraising your child or making a bigger-than-necessary deal of their achievements as an attempt to keep their motivation up. Supporting your child in a positive way is important, but be realistic with them about their achievements and expectations. There’s no benefit in overpraising their trophies and wins at home, only to realise that they aren’t really all that amazing compared to their peers and classmates.

5. Encourage your child to follow their passion

You might want your child to be good (and interested) in maths and science, but don’t despair if he or she is interested in art and music instead. Allowing your child to follow their passion and interests goes a long way in helping them enjoy school and excel at something they are good at and enjoy. And if learning isn’t a chore, then it makes it so much more fun and enjoyable, giving your child the confidence, mind set and motivation to succeed.

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