Helping your child thrive in school

Helping your child thrive in school

Parents and guardians play a huge role in how their children cope in school. Here are tips that can help you offer better support to your little one to ensure they excel in school.

Children in class
Children in class/ iStock

The school calendar has officially kicked off.

Over the last week, social media has been flooded with images of kids in their uniforms as they returned to school.

Starting school can be a frightening experience for some scholars. Some kids can even suffer from anxiety.

Dr Mostert, who holds a PhD in Psychology of Education, says anxiety or feeling nervous are normal emotions and can be expected during times of transition and change.

As a parent, how you support your child can help them better deal with anxiety and make the transitioning easier.

“When dealing with an anxious child, it is very important not to lecture or interrupt them, or to jump to conclusions or mock their fears.

“Helping your child through anxious periods is possible and an important part of their growth towards maturity.

“Adults should keep in mind that they play an important role in supporting children during this time, so direct attention away from the concerns about friends, teachers, homework, and COVID-19 by instead directing their thoughts toward the positives of seeing their friends, building relationships and new friendships, having the opportunity to interact with teachers, and the safe environment of the school,” says Dr Mostert.

READ: 5 effective activities you can do to prepare your child for school

Showing interest in your child’s studies and letting them know you are available for them is key.

Another important way of supporting your children is by ensuring they get adequate sleep and eat the right food.

“Routine is key in this. The first important step is to reinstate regular routines, including in the morning and evening. Nobody copes well when they are tired or hungry. Anxious children often don’t feel like eating breakfast, they might not feel hungry, or become nauseous after eating breakfast, so start making sure that your child gets back in the habit of getting some nutrition before heading to school,” says Dr Mostert.

“Also, make sure that your child wakes up early enough to avoid rushing to get to school. This of course means that you must ensure that your child goes to bed early enough, at a regular time. If your child spends hours before going to sleep on a device or social media, this is a habit that needs to end. It is not healthy for children or adults, for that matter,” says the expert.

For those parents whose children are in Grade 1, there are a few things that they can do to promote a positive attitude of learning.

Educational Psychologist Stacey Cohen of Buddingminds offers the following tips to help your child be ready for school.

- Have conversations and constantly talk to children to promote language development (increase exposure to language).

- Play stimulating games in the car to keep them engaged and thinking (for example, to spot as many green things as possible; to identify any animals; to sing along to some rhymes in the car).

- Allow children to do arts and crafts activities at home to allow them to practice working with glue, scissors, holding crayons, and orientating paper.

- Play educational games and crafts as the whole family in a casual environment. This may help them form a good attitude towards learning.

- Read to your children every night. “I have found parents who read to their children every night foster a positive attitude towards literacy and those children appear to develop the skills for comprehension as well as easier letter recognition when they begin school,” says Stacey.

READ: Prepare your child mentally for school

More from East Coast Radio

Image courtesy of iStock/ @Drazen Zigic

Show's Stories