Motivate your child in a way that promotes the love for learning. (Shutterstock)
The drive to motivate yourself to do home chores after a long day at work feels near impossible. The drive to also motivate your kids to complete their homework or study for an upcoming exam feels even more impossible. But it all needs to be done.
From childhood through their school career, your child’s workload only intensifies – as does the pressure on parents to keep them on the right track.
So how can you, as a working parent, help your child achieve academic success, especially when it feels you don’t have time for much else?
1. Communication is key:
Constantly remind them that you’re never too busy to listen – then follow through on that promise. Establish an open line of communication, so your child knows they can come straight to you when they need help. If they aren’t doing particularly well at something at school, let them know that it’s okay but remind them that you’re proud they’re giving it their best shot. Encourage them to never give up.
If they know they’re not going to get into trouble for their honesty, they’re more likely to come to you when they’re struggling.
2. Play to their strengths:
After work, try to remain in tune with what your child enjoys. This often means that you let go of your own ideals in favour of the child’s ambitions. The chances that your kids excel in the same areas as you are unlikely, so manage your expectations.
Don’t force your child to excel in subjects they don’t enjoy, nor in those they don’t feel they’re good at. Rather encourage them to put even more effort into subjects where they feel really engaged, and love what they are learning. Let them know each individual has their own strengths, and not everyone can or should be great at the same things.
3. Help them study more effectively:
Online learning platforms like Educate24 offer many courses that can help with your child’s schoolwork. These courses such as the 7 Golden Rules for You or Your Child’s Academic Success which teaches the basic principles of how to study, can be completed on a smartphone, tablet or laptop in only six weeks.
Equipping yourself and them with nifty tools like this, grants them more independence. As they become more comfortable implementing new techniques, working parents are left with more independent time too.
4. Continue your own learning journey:
Set an example by showing your child what dedication and self-discipline looks like by completing a short course too. Study for yourself, brush up on what interests you or benefits your life, and boost your confidence in the process.
The thirst for knowledge is ongoing, even more so in adulthood when it’s less of a chore and speaks more to personal and professional growth. By doing so, you become even more of an inspiration to your family.
5. Help with their homework:
Don’t do their entire project for them even if you may think it’ll save time, you’d do a better job than them, or that they’ll learn through observation. Rather, encourage your child to complete it themselves while offering to help only when they don’t understanding something.
Avoid comments that let them know you disagree with the level of the curriculum, don;t understand the work, or dislike the way the teacher phrased the question. Instead, approach each hurdle with enthusiasm otherwise your child will mimic your attitude towards learning – as a difficult and unnecessary chore.
If you don’t know the answer to a question off the top of your head (school maths really is very hard) you can figure out the solution together – with enthusiasm. You may be able to brush up on or dust off some skills and use it to impress your boss the next day!
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