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Parenting Skills: How to Help Your Child Succeed in School

Parenting Skills: How to help your child succeed at school

Kelly Youngby Kelly Young, LMSW
Director of Family Preservation Services for the Kansas City Region, KVC Kansas

This article from the KVC Institute for Health Systems Innovation is the 11th in a 12-part series on parenting skills. See previous articles. 

Throughout our parenting skills blog series, we have shared valuable tools to help parents embrace a balanced approach of both encouragement and limit-setting to teach children cooperation. Not only can you use these tools to help your children discover which behaviors are appropriate and expected; they can assist you in helping your child succeed academically now and continue thriving into adulthood.

Take a moment to refresh your memory on some of the important tools we’ve shared:

  1. Giving good directions
    Provide clear expectations and establish clear goals. “Jesse, put your coat on now, please.”
  2. Using encouragement to reinforce good behavior
    Recognize good behavior by awarding tokens or small rewards. Perfection is not required to reinforce desired behaviors.
  3. Limit-setting
    Discourage and prevent disruptive behavior by using mild and immediate consequences.

How to Help Your Child Succeed in School

Encourage your child to complete the steps listed below for school success and explain why they are important. Learning what it takes to succeed in school can prepare your child to achieve success in future aspects of his or her life such as applying for college or pursuing a career.

  1. Attend school
  2. Pay attention in class
  3. Follow the teacher’s directions
  4. Complete in-class assignments
  5. Record homework assignments
  6. Bring home study materials
  7. Study at home
  8. Complete homework
  9. Turn in homework

Just as you’ve learned how to recognize your child for good behavior, establish a token system or other small reward when they complete or excel at a step. Celebrate perfect attendance, good grades on a report card or your child completing homework without you having to ask them. You can also ask teachers to help in encouraging your child to complete these steps when you are not present.

Interested in using encouragement to help your child succeed in school? Download this practice worksheet!

Promoting school success is one of twelve skills taught in the Parent Management Training – Oregon (PMTO) model. PMTO is developed on 40 years of research and practice with the core belief that parents are their children’s best teachers. KVC teaches this empowering evidence-based practice to parents and caregivers involved in the child welfare system, but the lessons learned from this model can be beneficial for any parent or caregiver. To learn about PMTO in Kansas, visit the Kansas Department for Children and Families’ website.

Read the other articles in this parenting skills blog series.

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