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Tips to Support Your Kids’s Efforts

The economy is tough these days and kids know it, no matter what economic background they come from.

They are constantly reminded at school and at home. It’s hard for parents not to nag at kids constantly to work hard and study and do well so they can get into a good college and get a good job.

It used to be a given that if you went to college, you would graduate with a good job. That’s not necessarily true anymore. Studying will not automatically get you a job. And ultimately that’s what every kid and teenager wants because it means they are on their way to adulthood, money in their pocket and a great lifestyle. Nobody wants to live on welfare, right? So what can we, as parents, do to support them when they feel dejected and stressed?

Here are just a few ways you can help:

  • Notice when things are going well. What are the signs? You can give your child some positive feedback by showing you’ve noticed. Be specific mentioning exactly what you’ve noticed eg “I see you’re working hard today” and avoid adding any sarcasm or any of your own angst. We help best when we simply comment on what we observe.
  • Avoid the use of ‘if’ e.g ‘if you study hard you’ll do well’ because this isn’t necessarily so and also it suggests there is an option which there isn’t.
  •  Even teenagers want attention from their parents. Giving them attention for not studying is the same thing as giving a toddler attention when they are having a tantrum. Be calm and don’t make a big deal of the behavior you don’t want (such as slacking) and pay attention to the good behaviour (studying).
  • Some kids feel overwhelmed by the amount they have to do. Help them learn how to break down their studies into small bite size chunks with short breaks in between. Teach them to do things one step at a time and before you know it, you will be done.
  • Breaks are really helpful because sitting in one position studying one subject is intense, tedious, and potentially boring. Encourage them to get outside and take a break, or at least, to enjoy that isn’t visual. Give their eyes a break and instead go for a run or work out or listen to music.
  •  Some kids find choices overwhelming. Which subject should they work on first? It’s easier when these kids simply have a plan to follow, a ‘to do list’ that they can cross off as they go.
  • Auditory children actually work better with music on or the TV as this blocks out the distracting noises or they may prefer silence but occasional uncontrolled noise can distract them. They will also find it easier to read their work out loud or listen to revision tapes.
  •  Kinesthetic kids will work best copying out notes and actively participating in their studying using interactive guides or testing each other.
  • Visual children will learn best by reading their notes, looking at textbooks and study guides and sample questions.
  • When things are going well, encourage your kids to notice what make it work. This is a great way to recognize your kids’ excellence and reinforce it. his gives your kids a great “recipe” for success that they can copy the next time.