How to Improve Your Child’s Academic Progress Without Being a Villain

Posted on August 17, 2012 · Posted in Parenting

Do you know some children equate you as a villain character? Pride over children’s successes, academic or professionally, is very important for parents, especially Malaysian parents. However, many countries in Asia also become associated with parents who place too much pressure on their children to excel in school. In a perfect world, these efforts will result in hard-working, achievement-driven children. But in the real world, children often find the pressure too heavy and this can lead to depression, unhappiness, low self-esteem, and resentment towards parents.

So as a parent, you have to know how you can help encourage your child to seek more achievements in academics without putting too much pressure on them and pushing them over the edge.Being a Villain

Here are some parenting tips on how you can improve your child’s academic progress without overdoing it.

Recognize your child’s individuality.

Always keep in mind that your child is not you. Genetically speaking, you and your spouse each have a 50% stake in your child. In reality, however, your child can possess a mix of traits from various sources, such as relatives on either sides of the family. The result is that your child is a completely different individual and should thus be considered as such. Do not expect him to be good at everything you and your spouse are good at.

Find out what your child’s interests are.

Just as every child is born with his own traits, every child also has his own interests and talents. It is your role as a parent to find out what these are, so you are better able to guide your child and teach him how to maximize his strengths. Your role is not to change those interests, but to nurture them.

Encourage a lot, but don’t expect too much.

It is important for parents to be encouraging and to give their children confidence in doing great at school. This is often coupled with some expectations. However, if these expectations go overboard, the result may be the complete opposite of what you want. Instead of meeting these expectations, your children might feel rebellious knowing that you are pushing them too hard. Thus, it is better if you focus your efforts on encouragement, on the building of self-confidence, rather than on expectations. When your children fail, encourage them to try again. Berating them will just cause their self-esteem to deflate, which will certainly make them more likely to fail.

Be in tune with your child’s development.

Many Asian parents tend to set expectations based on what tradition dictates. Unfortunately, times are different now, and children develop in a different pace than before. Add to this the fact that every children develops differently. So as a parent, it is important for you to understand the developmental stage at which your child is. Some parents tend to push their child beyond what is appropriate or even possible for them at their age. This will help you understand which tasks are difficult for him, which tasks he might need help with, which tasks he just does not find interesting yet, and which tasks he has already outgrown.

Let your child do things on his own while supporting him.

Studies show that parents who encourage their children to try new tasks on their own while showing their support develop higher self-esteem and essentially do better in academics. If a child is learning something, allow him the freedom to learn it and encourage him to do it by himself. This does not mean you can go and leave him alone; it just means that your role will be reduced to just supporting your child. One classic example is when a child is learning how to walk; some parents, out of extreme protectiveness, discourage toddlers from walking for fear that they might get hurt. This is not healthy, as it may cause a child to miss an important developmental feat in his early life. But it does not mean you can let a child walk off without supervision. You still have to be there, ready to catch him when he loses his balance, or ready to pick him up when he falls.

Change your understanding of what success really is.

Parents have different views on what success really is. For most, however, their concept of success is affected by their own parents’ concept of success. This is how traditional expectations in academic success are passed on from generation to generation. Thus, as an Asian parent in the 21st century, you have to learn how to adjust your view of success based on the times, regardless of what you traditionally knew. Educate yourself on the career choices that the current society offers to your child, given his natural talents and skills. This will make it easier for you to encourage him towards the success path that is in line with his own desires in life.

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