Help your child excel

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Help your child excel

In today’s competitive world, excelling  has become  a necessity more than just a choice.  Here are some insights, by award-winning teachers, that hold well even in today’s world:

*The best students do chores. Encourage children to do small odd jobs at home. This makes them responsible.
Eg:Water the plants, set the table, run errands.

*Have high expectations.
You do not have to be strict but expectations should be high and firm and the consequences of meeting or not meeting them should be strictly followed. Consistency is vital.

Eg: If you manage a good grade, you get a treat (whatever you wish), else life goes on as usual.

*It helps if parents are involved in school activities.
Some schools encourage parents to have a proactive role rather than a “hands-off” role. It helps if parents volunteer for activities they enjoy in their child’s school. Check if the school your child goes to has any such programme and get involved if you can.

*Grades are not everything.
One of the common mistakes parents do is demand good grades while the child is starting out at school. The child obeys more due to fear rather than understand the reason behind such a demand.

Often, he/she does not enjoy studies at all and would rather play, which seems more exciting to him but is forced to pore over textbooks and make notes. This can lead to a lot of pent up frustration and anger at a young age.

What eventually happens is the child gets fed up of studies by the time he/she is in high school and starts rebelling to get back at higher authority (which is typical adolescence rebellion behaviour). The only problem is that high school is the time when children should ideally start being more focused!

To avoid this potential trap, parents should emphasise on the effort needed towards studies, learning rather than grades, emphasis on learning from failures rather than reprimanding for failures.

Also, life skills are as important if not more, than academics to excel in today’s world. Hence, leadership skills, problem-solving, decision-making, critical thinking are all necessary along with academics. It helps to focus on the larger picture.

*Learning is not always fun.
Enjoying what you learn always is a myth.
Learning sometimes involves tedious effort, which may not be enjoyable, but is  necessary to go forward. Help your child understand this. It helps to be aware of this and learn to have high endurance for tedious, often boring work. It helps to educate the child towards this reality and reassure him that, while it may not always be fun, it is not always tedious or boring either. This awareness helps in better acceptance of the situation by the child and hence there is better cooperation with adults towards reaching  a goal.

*Alternate effort with sports or relaxation techniques.
It helps to cultivate a hobby at a young age just so that when the stress builds up, there is a vent available to let off steam, which in turn increases efficiency.

*Have a plan B.
“Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans”.
Sometimes despite efforts, things may not happen as they were supposed to. It helps if the child is encouraged right from a young age to aim for an alternate goal if the primary goal is not achieved for whatever reason.

Tell stories of successful people who aimed for something but landed up being successful in something else.

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