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2009

H OW TO H E L P YO U R C H I L D H AV E A P O S I T I V E E X P E R I E N C E FREE

B AC K TO SCHOOL

DOES THE IDEA OF THE


BEGINNING OF THE SCHOOL YEAR
BRING A SMILE OR A FROWN?

It’s been (mostly) a Great Summer. Now What?


“Back to School!” You have seen positive experience in school this what does not work for them.
the signs in stores, schools, and year. Although there are ongoing
other places. Does the idea of the discussions about many things, there
beginning of the school year bring a As an educational and is also great consensus on what
smile or a frown? Is your child or developmental psychologist, I have parents can do to help. Here are
adolescent looking forward to the followed the research and literature some of the more important things
beginning of school or dreading it? I about school success. As a positive you can do to help your child be
would like to share with you some psychotherapist, I have talked to successful this year.
ideas to help your child have a many parents about what works and

FRIENDS CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE ART IS A GOOD OUTLET PRESCHOOL FUN
A positive attitude, encouraging and noticing strengths
and efforts, helps your child develop an “I can” attitude.
1. Have a positive attitude toward
school and education. Talk to your child 4. Encourage your child. It is easy to
about the advantages of school and discourage a child. We do it by being
stress the importance of an education. It overly critical, expecting perfection, W HAT HE LP S
helps if your child sees you furthering being pessimistic, expressing unrealistic
your own education by taking a class or fears, nagging, and pointing out
a seminar. weaknesses rather than strengths.
Instead, inspire your child with
2. Instill basic values and provide confidence. Find something positive to
plenty of love and limits. Children need say every day; encourage your child’s
both to feel secure. And secure children efforts; reward progress (even if it is not
learn better. Do not make your child as much as you would like); promote
feel that your love is conditional on self-reliance and self-management;
school grades. notice strengths and help your child
build on them.
3. Read daily to your younger children
and listen to your older children read. 5. Be involved. Take time to get to POSITIVE ATTITUDE
Provide positive reading material for know your child’s teachers and
older children and encourage them to frequently check your child’s progress.
use the library. School success is Read carefully what you receive from
dependent on reading abilities. Do school, attend school orientations and
whatever is necessary to ensure that parent-teacher conferences, and ask to
your child can read well. be told immediately of any problems
that may develop. At home, provide a
specific time and place to do
PARENT’S INVOLVEMENT homework, with no distractions, offer
MAKES A DIFFERENCE FOR help if needed. Show interest in and
celebrate big and small
SCHOOL SUCCESS. accomplishments, and attend school
activities and functions that your child PROVIDE LOVE AN D LIM ITS
is involved in.

READ TOG ETH ER

ENCOURAGE
BE INVO LVED
Provide and I LOV E . . .
Encourage Positive
Messages! RECENT BRAINSTORMING FOR
POSITIVE WORDS RELATED TO
6. Help your child be successful. Children SCHOOL AND LEARNING THAT
who have different ways of learning, COULD BE ATTACHED AFTER “I
whether they are intellectually advanced or LOVE. . .” PRODUCED: READING,
slow learners, are more at risk. If your SCIENCE, FRIENDS, SMILES, COOL
child is struggling for school success and
TEACHER, GROUPS, DRAMA, NEW
losing, because he or she is not average,
find a school program where success is CLOTHES, ART, MUSIC, RECESS,
measured in terms of individual potential, HELPING OTHERS, MY SCHOOL
not grade-level expectations. Make sure SCIENCE PROJECTS, ETC. WHAT
there are enough challenges, but also that DO YOUR KIDS LOVE?
the challenges are not overwhelming.
Look for teachers willing to individualize
their instruction to the needs of your child.
If you find something at which your child
can succeed, even if it is not related to
school, the resulting boost in confidence
may be transferred to school. Even if it is I L OV E WH O I A M
not, it will help preserve your child’s
personal confidence and sense of
achievement. HELPING YOUR CHILD DEVELOP
PERSONAL CONFIDENCE GOES A
7. Look for help. If you or your child are LONG WAY TO ENSURE SUCCESS.
having a hard time with school or
parenting issues, look for help. One way is ENCOURAGE HIS/HER INDIVIDUAL
to find a life coach who can help you sort GIFTS, HAVE REALISTIC
issues and support you in your quest to EXPECTATIONS, AND FIND EVERY
find the best solutions. You can also talk to DAY SOMETHING TO ENCOURAGE
a school counselor or to a psychologist if AND PRAISE. KEEP CRITICISM TO
more specialized help is needed. If you
A MINIMUM. REMEMBER. . .
want more information on how to find
help, send an email to: SEVEN POSITIVES FOR EVERY
ada@logosnoesis.com or call (302) NEGATIVE IS ABOUT THE RIGHT
399-3915 and I will be happy to help you BALANCE.
find the information you need.

Above all, send positive messages to your


child. Statements like “You are special,” “
I like you,” “You have many talents,”
“You can do this,” “You can do anything
you want to do,” will give your child a
E NCO UR AG EM ENT
positive “I can” attitude that will take over
and become an internal motivation for
success. That’s how the leaders of
tomorrow are formed! A PARENTS’ ENCOURAGEMENT IS
VITAL TO THE CONFIDENCE AND
Article by Ada Gonzalez, Ph.D., DETERMINATION CHILDREN WILL
LMFT NEED TO EXPEND EFFORTS TO
Educator, Psychotherapist, and coach. LEARN. ANATOLE FRANCE SAYS,
Websites: www.adagonzalez.com and “NINE TENTHS OF EDUCATION IS
www.logosnoesis.com ENCOURAGEMENT.” NOTICE THEIR
STRENGTHS AND ENCOURAGE
THEM TO USE THEIR GIFTS AND
CHILDREN ARE THE HOPE OF TALENTS.
THE WORLD!