How to Help Your Kids with School without Overwhelming Them
As adults, most of us look back at our school days as a happy time, a time of fun and laughter, and a period with our friends, without any of the pressures of adult life. It’s probably fair to say that most of us are remembering the better parts and glossing over issues like bullying and exam pressures. But it’s also fair to say that today’s students are facing unparalleled pressures. School aged children now have to deal with the pressures of exams and homework, but also social media and online bullying. They have more options than ever, but with that comes more decisions, more tension, and more pressure. Coupled with raging hormones, mood swings, acne and growth spurts, and kids have got it hard.
As parents, we’re keen to help with schoolwork, minimise disruptions and reduce any stress and anxiety. But many parents make the mistake of pushing too hard and increasing pressure and overwhelm. Heres’ a look at some of the ways that you can help your kids at school without overwhelming them or putting them under any extra pressure.
Do Your Research
If you want to help your children at school, one of the best things that you can do is research. Learn more about their school, their friends, the courses that they are taking, what they need to do to follow their chosen path and about any tests or exams that they may have coming up. Learning more about the exam process, as well as the examinations themselves means that you can offer your child more support and answer any questions that they might have. If your child is about to sit the CAT4 test, for example, this guide answers all your questions.
Talk to Them
One of the best ways to learn more about their school life is by talking to them about it, but it’s not always that easy. Young children might be keen to share the ins and outs of their days with you. They’ll happily talk about who they’ve played with and the new things that they have learned. As our kids start to get older, this kind of sharing changes. Older kids might not be as communicative and asking about their day might not yield much information.
So, talk more informally. You might find that your kids share more on the drive home when they aren’t looking at you. Or that they share if you sit and play games with them or go for a walk together. Try to just chat, instead of questioning them, which might feel like an interrogation.
Get into a Great Routine
Most families are familiar with a hectic morning routine as they rush to get everything done before they leave for school and work. Getting into a more positive routine where you have time to eat breakfast together and chat will help you all to start the day in a positive mood, which can make the rest of the day better.
Your evening routine should also be peaceful, with time for everyone to do their own things, but also time for reading, homework and eating together. A routine at home can help to ease any disruption and uncertainty your child is facing at school and make the conversation flow more freely.
Be Part of the School Community
When your children are young, they might want you to be a big part of their school life. They’ll love waving at you at sports day and showing off their work when you visit. They’ll be keen for you to meet teachers and friends. So, make the most of it. Attend everything you can. Volunteer and get involved with as much of their school life as possible. When your children are older, things might change, but they’ll secretly still be pleased to see you and maintaining a good relationship with school staff can be great for your kids’ school life.
Often the key to helping your children at school is good communication, both with them and with school staff. This will also make it easier to spot the signs of problems, giving you a great chance to get in touch with the school, before small worries become more serious.