BY SANDI SCHWARTZ
We all want to help our children succeed, and often wonder if we are doing too much or too little. We may think we are guiding them, but might actually be pressuring our kids too much and making them feel as if they are not good enough. Unfortunately, this can lead to stress and anxiety for our children, even at a very young age.
To avoid going down that path, it is important that we offer a positive, balanced approach so they know they are supported, yet have the freedom to be independent as well. If you want to help your kids to do well in school without stressing them out too much, here are some simple things you can do when they are at home:
Create A Happy, Stress-Free Afterschool Routine
From the moment your kids hop in the car afterschool, you can start to ease them into the transition from school to home. Ask them about their day and then provide them with a crucial break time involving healthy snacks and winding down time before they jump into their homework assignments.
Have A Set Time For Homework
Doing homework can be difficult at the best of times, especially when kids have finished school and they want to play or relax. Having a set time for them to do homework will make it easier for them to get into the habit of it. For example, you could let them take a break first by engaging in some enriching activities like arts and crafts, exercise, mindfulness, or outdoor play before they get started on their homework. Also, be consistent. By ensuring they do their homework at the same time every day, it will become easier for them to sit down and get it down.
Make Sure They Use The Right Resources
By providing your kids with the right resources, you can encourage them to learn while they are at home. There is an abundance of educational tools online that can help them brush up on certain skills and view concepts they learn at school in a more interesting way. Take a trip to your local library to find books that provide more detail about the subjects they are talking about in school. Or even visit a local science or art museum to enrich their learning experience.
Help Them If They Need It
If your kids need help, then make sure you are there for them. Perhaps they are having a problem with a certain teacher, student, or subject. Be their voice and do something about it, even if it means addressing bullying. Sometimes, they may need help with their homework. Perhaps you could take a little time and sit down with them to figure out what they are struggling with. This will ensure that they do not get overwhelmed and anxious about getting it wrong.
Have A Positive, Non-Pushy Attitude Toward Learning
It is important that you have a positive, non-pushy attitude towards your children’s learning experience. You want to inspire them, but do not nag. As soon as you nag them, you take all the fun out of it, and stress and anxiety will creep in. Make an effort to use positive language and make them feel good about school, even when they are struggling with a challenging subject or situation.
Try hard not to compare your child to other children, especially their siblings. The fact is, they all develop at different rates. Your child might be a little faster, or a little slower. Comparing them either way will only set them up for failure in the future, so make sure you focus on them and them alone.
Ensure They Get Plenty Of Sleep
Sleep plays a huge part in how well our kids do in school. Make sure they go to bed at a consistent time every night and have a comfortable environment to sleep in. That means shutting down electronic gadgets well before their bedtime, making sure the room is cool enough, and letting them sleep with their favorite stuffed animal or cozy blanket.
Sandi Schwartz is a freelance writer/blogger and mother of two. She has written extensively about parenting, wellness, and environmental issues. Her blog Happy Science Mom provides a parenting toolkit for raising happy, balanced children covering topics like mindfulness, giving, gratitude, and spending time in nature. If after school time is stressing you out, then download her guide today.