Check out these great school tips!
The new school year brings with it all sorts of hopes and expectations. Very often, kids will swear that this year will be different, only to lose momentum along the way. Still, as a parent, you can do a lot to encourage your teen’s success while not turning into a “Helicopter Parent.”
Build a great relationship with your teens’ teachers
- Teach your child to respect the wisdom and experience of the teacher(s). This emphasis focuses your child on his/her teacher’s positive attributes rather than on the idea that the teacher is out to punish the student! Most teachers love teaching and will continue their educations just to build their skills.
- Remind your child that teachers are people too and that they have off days. I remember quite clearly how stressful it was to begin my employment at a new school as my mother was dying. You just never know what the teacher is going through, and a little understanding goes a long way.
- Let the teacher(s) know that you are interested in a partnership and demonstrate this by sending thank-you emails or little gifts of encouragement. Teachers are used to being disrespected. If you show your willingness to be a partner and not an adversary, it will go a long way to forging a great relationship that will support your child’s success.
Think of ADHD schooling as your child’s full-time job and your part-time job.
I know. I can hear you moaning across cyberspace.
So what does it mean exactly?
- School comes first, before sports teams and girlfriends/boyfriends.
- If the present school experience isn’t working, you may need to devote some extra extra time and/or money to hire a tutor, a coach, or some other support for your child. Another tip is to sit with them while they’re doing their homework. You can be reading, for instance, while they’re working. That one little action can make a difference for your child.
- Make every effort to attend parent-teacher conferences and back-to-school nights. This goes for both parents. In-person participation helps to forge a strong support system at school and impresses upon your child how serious you are about their schooling.
- Check your children’s grades once a week, even if the teacher isn’t great at recording them. It’s good to know what’s going on, whatever it is. Based on how they’re doing, you may also need to check backpacks before they leave for school in the morning and check to see that assignments are completed when you’re told they are.
What does it NOT mean?
- You shouldn’t have to do their homework.
- You shouldn’t have to make excuses for them.
- You shouldn’t compare your children to each other. They’re different, even though they all come from the same parents and were raised the same.
- Don’t place blame on other people. You have the right to be your child’s advocate or to hire one. You go in there and kick some booty!
Help your kids stay organized
- Do your kids have a study area that is actually conducive for studying? Get their input – a library carrel works great for some but a sofa works better for others. Anything they need for studying should be accessible, in their backpacks/book bags, and at home.
- Create a calendar (or better yet: several calendars) so that your child and you both know when assignments are due. Don’t let them wait until the last minute unless that actually works for them (some kids actually do BETTER by putting things off – so to speak – ’til the last minute).
- Go over study skills such as organization (of time and space), preparation, pre-reading (skimming) both the chapter and the questions, pacing (some kids can’t do a whole project in one sitting, others prefer it), preparing their own test materials as if they were creating AND taking the test/quizzes, and self-evaluation – is this the best they can do?
My experience is that when parents spend extra time building a “success structure” for their kids right from the start, they spend MUCH LESS time later on, and avoid the drama of senior-itis and last minute course credit checks.
What’s the hardest thing about schooling for YOU?
Just scroll down and share your thoughts in the comments section. I love, love, love hearing from you.
Copyright 2016 Yafa Luria/Margit Crane All Rights Reserved
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