In just a few days kids across the country will be headed back to school. Parents and kids dread is a repeat of past performance in a new school year. There is lots parents can do to prepare their kids for a stellar year; a year of outstanding performance like none other.
CONFIDENCE: Confidence is the cure to kids trying to muster the strength and courage to get back on track when they face a setback at school. Confidence packs a punch that bypasses feelings of insecurity and self-doubt, and personal apprehension. Kids face a number of challenges on a daily basis. Being unsure of who they are and what value they bring to the classroom and at home, should not be something they grapple with. Raising confident kids begins with encouraging self-love. It’s appreciating who they are with imperfections and all. When parents intentionally make kids feel important and appreciated and then celebrated, the “magic begins to happen. The way they walk, talk and exercise resilience when things just don’t go their way, are all healthy signs that point to a confident child.
Filling kids’ tanks with unlimited confidence sprints them toward the end-of-year finish line, like nothing else. When kids are confident, a disappointing performance does not derail their self-confidence. A stumble here and there is recalibrated by their esteem. A healthy ego feeds their esteem, braces them for times of imperfection and anchors them when they need additional supports to make it through the school year.
INTERVENTION: Secondly, the moment kids present with a hint of a challenge in a subject matter, parents need to intervene; sprint to meet with their teacher (s), ask for them to be assigned tutoring, and seek outside community resources to have as added support. When a child falls behind in a subject area, it can erode their confidence in all subjects, to include subjects they have tested to be proficient in. If kids live in smaller communities, finding supportive services could be more difficult. Parents coming together to solve the problem is the best answer. Identifying kids in the community with the skills or understanding another child needs, and using them as a resource, is an answer. Many times, teachers can recommend kids who can help beyond the classroom. Parents creating a home, school community partnership to help is a winning strategy. The urgent response needed, is for parents to intervene sooner and not later. No brow beating. Kids learn differently. If one sibling is a “scholar” and the other gets the “holler”, the approach must change. Gifts and talents show up differently. Discovering a kids’ uniqueness answers a lot of the “whys” about classroom performance.
REFLECTION: Lastly, institute “quiet times”; times of reflection. A kids’ day is filled with more happy, good, positive, correct, and “OH YEAH LET’S KICK ROCK” times, than sad or unhappy times. The overwhelming challenge is that negative acts are punctuated by exclamation marks in red. Glaring at them are all of the things they’ve done wrong. What if the negative things- poor performance at school- is punctuated with a period without the highlights and all of the good kids do, is capitalized and punctuated with extraordinarily large exclamation marks. This is the power of confidence. When a child is confident poor performance is always in lower case and everything else bellows out loud, ” you are good, important, and valuable”! Remind kids to focus on the bigger “GOOD” they do that happens throughout the day, rather than the smaller disappointments. Doing so equips them with what they need to keep growing in confidence. And, then together, kids and their parents, tackle the nuisances that creep up to destroy kids confidence.