Tips for Setting Your Kids Up for Academic Success

Parents have a bigger role in their child’s academic success than they realize. Children's perspective on education is usually formed at home first, so it's important for parents to be involved in developing good study habits, achievable academic goals, and a growth mindset. As their primary teacher and main source of support, here are things you can do to set your kids up for academic success:

Praise efforts, not talent
Showering your kids with praise is a good way to motivate them to achieve great things. But according to research, there’s a right and wrong way to do it. In particular, praising talent should be avoided because it teaches children to rely on innate abilities. Instead, acknowledge the effort they put into what they do, so they learn that the process is more important than talent or results.

Instead of constantly telling your kids that they’re smart, say something like, “I’m so proud of how hard you worked on your project!” Acknowledge specific efforts too. “I’m impressed by how you learned five new words this week,” is one example of what you could say. Recognize their accomplishments as you please, but always emphasize that their behavior and effort are key.

Give them stability at home
Giving your kids a stable environment is incredibly important in how they perform in school. Problems at home might rub off on children and affect their mental health, behavior, and learning ability. Marital fights, for example, create a stressful environment for young ones. Their focus will diminish and their overall wellbeing will be affected, too.

Make sure they also stick to healthy routines at home. Balance their academics with household chores and fun activities. Overloading them with too much schoolwork is counterproductive—they might learn to despise school or burn out from it!

Save up for their education
Prioritizing saving for your kids’ schooling teaches them the value of education given how big of an investment it is. It sends them a message that it’s important to be educated, especially if they want to succeed later in life.

Saving up for college as early as now is even more crucial because higher learning is where they make career-defining decisions. The good thing is that there are various options for financial aid to alleviate the cost of sending your kids to good schools. The Canadian government specifically designed the RESP, which stands for Registered Education Savings Plan, for this reason. It’s a tax-advantaged investment account that helps parents set aside funds for their kids’ learning. Students can also apply for public and private scholarships, grant programs, and bursaries to ease their debt. Regardless of how you go about it, saving up for their future can encourage them to value their education now.

Manage their screen time
Not all screen time is bad for kids’ learning, according to recent studies. Researchers have found that it’s mainly the time spent watching television and playing video games that have a negative impact on children’s performance at school. Too much TV impairs their language and math abilities, while video games affect their verbal memory skill and slow-wave sleep.

Technology is everywhere, and eliminating screen time could only delay their learning. They might not develop in-demand skills that could help them succeed academically and professionally. Regulating their screen use, then, is better than keeping them off of it completely.

Encourage curiosity
Children are very inquisitive by nature. Instead of getting flustered by all their questions, try your best to answer them. Keep their minds stimulated and encourage them to keep wondering about the nature of things.

The simplest way to cultivate a desire to learn is to study and read with your kids. Reading out loud to young children helps them develop important skills, such as language and communication. It is also a great way to bond with your kids and create positive associations with reading and learning.

The bottom line is that there’s more to being a parent than sending kids to school and making sure they do their homework. By being more involved with their learning process, you can boost your children’s academic potential and success.

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