Being a parent is the toughest job on the planet! Besides ensuring that your children are cared for, loved and that their emotional and physical needs are met, the very act of being a parent makes you your children’s first and longest-standing teacher.
Learning from birth
Cindy Glass, director of Step Up Education Centres says: “It is impossible to compartmentalise learning. Children are born with an innate need to learn. Parents are their first point-of-call as their first and most influential teachers! Learning that takes place at a school is called ‘education’, yet, education starts on the day that we are born!”
“Parents cannot separate the learning taking place at school to the even greater learning taking place every day in our homes, on the sports-field or within our family, cultural and religious structures,” she adds.
Get more involved in school
It seems necessary, then, that parents involve themselves in the extension of this education that we call school. Here are some helpful tips to get parents more involved:
Be an example
Be an example of positive, productive learning and positive behavioural choices. Your children are 100 percent more likely to do what you do rather than what you say. Avoid degrading teachers when facing challenges. Seek to find positive solutions that ensure your children feel valued, yet respectful towards those who teach them at school.
Show sincere interest
Show your children that you are sincerely interested in what happens at their school on a daily basis. Ask questions and be willing to listen-to-understand when answers are shared. Find out how the day went. What was best/worst about the day? Who did your child hang out with?
Get excited about positive news
Be excited about any positive news or progress-whether academic or social. All children seek acknowledgement and purpose. Acknowledged progress will result in greater progress!
Be determined, brave and positive
Teach the art of determination, courage, a positive work ethic, resilience, self-responsibility and motivation by being these yourself! Challenges, frustrations, anxieties and fears are inevitable. It is how we choose to react to these that will ensure success!
Teach them mistakes are okay
Allow for error. Mistakes and some failures are inevitable. Teach your children to own these and to see them as opportunities to learn. A child who is willing to acknowledge his mistakes, own them and seek positive ways to learn from them will live a life without limitations!
Build a relationship with their teachers
Seek to build and maintain a positive working relationship with your children’s teachers. Attend meetings and activities whenever possible and be open to suggestions of support and additional aid where needed.
Check their school work
Wherever possible, find the time to look at the work that your child brings home. Do this with the aim of finding the best ways to support, encourage and motivate your children to become the best version of themselves.
Cindy sums up by reiterating: “Celebrate all learning, from academic to cultural and the arts. Your child’s positive sense of self is your most important priority. A child with a healthy sense of self is not afraid to try new things and make mistakes. They believe in themselves enough to stand firm in positive life values, despite obstacles along the way!”