How To Encourage Elementary Success Without Applying Undue Pressure
Encourage them to like learning. Encourage them to like the things that they're doing by
A lot of parents feel a lot of pressure to have their kids succeed in school. One of the recommendations that I give to parents is to make sure their attention is focused on the child and not on what you want for your child. We all know that kids don't grow up to be what their parents want them to be, so you have to put those things aside -- whether you want them to be a doctor or take over your business, etc. -- and focus on what your child is doing right now, where they are and how you can help them move from one step to the next. Think, "How can we improve their reading?" Don't stress about SATs yet; don't stress about all of that. Just stress about helping them get from point A to point B in terms of school success. Narrow your focus down so it doesn't put too much pressure on your child - it's a problem, but not a panic. Encourage them to like learning. Encourage them to like the things that they're doing by making it interesting, by talking about it, and try to take some of the pressure off of them. Sometimes kids will be reading a book and it's just a little bit too hard for them. It's fine. Sit down, they read a page and you read a page, you read a paragraph and they read a paragraph. They're still reading, they're still understanding it, you're modeling good reading for them, you're doing it together. That is okay - it's not cheating. You are trying to make learning success a little more accessable for your child. It's also okay to say to your child, "You know what? You just have to do this and I know it's not very fun. This doesn't look very fun to me either, but you just need to do it. It is your job. Get it done and we'll put it away. Your work will be finished and we'll do something fun." I think it helps take pressure off your child and helps kids to acknowledge that not all the work that they do is just riviting and interesting. It's not a farce that we can maintain throughout the entire elementary school years, so admit it. Help them get through it, help them set some small goals for school success. Finish it up right, put it away and then do something fun.