7 Simple Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in a New School Year

by Annie Boate

7 Simple Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in a New School Year

A new school year is a major event for your child. It can bring a mixture of excitement and dread! With mental health problems increasing in children worldwide, it’s even more critical than ever that you know how to empower your child to succeed.

So, whether your child’s starting a new school, or moving up a year, here are 7 ways you can take a ‘coach-approach’ to do just that:

1. Encourage independence

If you keep fixing things for your child it puts you under pressure to always have the answers, and it stops them developing confidence and independence. Encourage them to do day-to-day things for themselves like doing up their shoes, getting changed and packing their bag. Instead of tucking your child’s shirt in (or telling them to do it), try asking: “How could you look even smarter?” so they fix it themselves.

2. Don’t ask closed questions!

Many questions lead to a yes/no answer: “Did you enjoy PE today?” “Did you make any new friends today?” “Did you have a nice lunch?” These types of questions won’t get you very much information!  Begin your questions with ‘what’, ‘how’ or ‘if’ instead. That’ll force them to take a far more active part in the conversation and give you a more detailed response!

3. Ask ONE short, simple question at a time!

“What happened at school today?” or: “What were the best 3 things about your day?” will get much better answers than longer equivalent questions! Long questions can make your child feel panicked, confused or stupid. Keep it punchy instead. Aim for 12 words maximum and get it right in your head BEFORE saying it

4. Shut up and wait for them to answer!

Pause for a second and think – how long do you wait after you’ve asked your child a question? Thinking takes time but because most of us find silence uncomfortable, we tend to jump in and ask another question, or even answer it for them! This is dangerous because it makes your child reliant on you, reduces their confidence and stops them developing thinking skills which are critical for life.

5. Get your child to visualise success

Help your child to imagine themself successfully getting through the school day. Ask them to talk you through their ‘mental video’ from getting ready for school to coming home happy. Keep repeating this ‘mental rehearsal.’ This will dramatically increase their confidence – especially if it’s a new school or class they’re going to. Physically rehearse the journey to school too if you can!

6. Acknowledge your child’s stress

It’s easy to dismiss your child’s doubts and fears when says things like “Nobody likes me,” or “I’m rubbish at maths.” Instead, validate their feelings. Rather than saying “Don’t be so silly. Lots of people like you,” show them you understand how they’re feeling. Reflect their emotions back to them by saying something like “So you’re feeling lonely – is that right?” Then follow it up with a solution-focused question such as “What could you do to feel less lonely tomorrow?”

7. Build their confidence

Attitudes are contagious so manage your own feelings. Be positive and upbeat and let them know you believe in them 100%. Too many parents say things like “I’m not surprised you’re no good at spelling. I was always rubbish at that!” Instead, say things like “You can’t do it…yet” OR “Mistakes are part of learning. How could you get even better at this?”

Want to help your child succeed? …Give it a go!

Try out these Coachinginschools ‘Coach Approach’ techniques in your everyday life and you’ll immediately notice what difference they make to your child – and to you! 🙂

BTW if you’d like to learn other powerful ‘Coach-Approach’ strategies, click here and grab a copy of our book, which became a Number #1 Best-Seller!

– Whilst it’s aimed at educators, LOTS of parents have found it extremely useful too!

Here are some reviews…

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