Although it is not always easy to find the time to focus on your child everyday, there are small things you can do at home to help boost school confidence. Below are some general examples that can be used as appropriate to fit your family needs.
1. Talk To Me: Create a time in the evening and designate it specifically to your child. If you have more than one child, carve out the necessary allotment for each child alone. Give the time a special name, such as "tell me" or "my day in school". A private meeting will give your child something to look forward to at the end of the day and may boost a little bit more effort at school. All kids love attention, and when you give them one on one time, even for a short span, they feel valued, proud and know the work they are doing means something. Labeling the meeting with a special title provides uniqueness and shows your undivided attention.
2. Ask Me: Instead of asking a general question about the school day, ask a specific question. For example, ask your child how his/her basketball game in gym class went or how it could have been improved. When asking, be sure to ask very detailed questions with open answers. By choosing to be specific with your questions, your child will start talking and sharing more about their day, and again, this will build tiny bricks of more confidence.
3. Teach Me: When your child is doing homework, ask him/her to teach you as if you were the student. Most kids love teaching adults and it greatly reinforces their own learning. Sit down and let your child teach you a school lesson (such as how to do a multiplication problem). Provide a dry erase board and let him/her teach the class. Make jokes during your mini sessions. Answer problems wrong and let your child explain how/why you answered the problem wrong. All kids learn a great amount by doing (over 90%), and they will have a blast teaching you. It is also a great way to boost confidence, self-esteem and can create a special bond. The "teach me" technique is a great strategy to use when helping kids prepare for a test.
4. Really Listen: Listen to what they tell you, rather than hear them. Keep the conversation going by asking open-ended questions, rather then asking yes or no questions. Put phones down, computers away and truly listen to them when they tell you about their day at school.
5. Thank Them: Be grateful and appreciative toward your children. Tell them how much you appreciate your talks, what they taught you, etc. Thanking your children boosts them up to a higher level of maturity and makes them feel proud and confident.
Although these tips are small, you will notice how bright and lit up your child becomes when you practice them. They can make a big difference in the early years of your child's perception of school.
How do you encourage school confidence?