This weeks school success tip is to do with improving communication.
Communication is one of the secrets to school success. Communicating with your child, their teachers and other school professionals is all important.
One of the tricky situations is when your child comes home and tells you about something that happened at school. Now you weren't there... and therefore you really don't know what happened. So what do you do?
Depending on the situation you may want to go full on Mumma Bear, but before you do have a look at the success tip.
Firstly, check in with yourself. If you have really strong feelings about what is being reported to you I wonder why. Maybe a similar thing happened to you at school, maybe it's happened to your child before, or maybe you are just very surprised. It's important to sit and digest those feelings before responding by sending off an angry email, gossiping about it in the car park or using your crystal ball and imagining the worst possible scenario.
Secondly, put all this in the context of how your child normally responds to situations. Do they tend to see the worst or best in a situation? Are they a sensitive child or rarely show emotion? Do they have confidence or experience anxiety? Whatever they are reporting is through the lens of their emotions and personality.
Thirdly, take some time to gather all the facts you can, or as best your child can remember.
Doing all of this is all important preparation for approaching the school and/or teacher.
ps. If being part of a group that focuses on helping children achieve school success interests you, you are welcome to join us at http://bit.ly/secretsofschoolsuccess.
Does it sometimes feel like everyone else knows the secrets of school success? Other people's children find learning to read easy. How come they get invited to parties? I think the teacher picks on my child. What am I meant to do at a parent-teacher-student conference thingy? What is a speech therapist and what does it mean if the teacher thinks my child needs one?
There are sooo many questions when your child starts school. What is important? What makes a difference to your child's school experience?
It is said that when we are older we don't remember much of what we learned at school, but we remember how we felt. We remember the feelings of humiliation of being chosen last for sport, pride at winning the timetable race, happiness at a party invitation, embarrassment when the teacher hit us on the hand with a ruler, anxiety about exams..
We remember the feelings of humiliation of being chosen last for sport, pride at winning the timetable race, happiness at a party invitation, embarrassment when the teacher hit us on the hand with a ruler, anxiety about exams.
Do you like school holidays? Can you take the time to reconnect these holidays?
Depending on your family they can be a blessing or a curse. A chance to slow down the weekly grind or routine, or a be source of stress as children out of their routine don't know what do with their unstructured time.
Whilst we work on creating a school success schedule, how much work do we put into making school holidays a success?
It is also common for issues such as too much screen time to arise; as well as pressures to organise and clean the house and catch up on everything you didn't get to during the term (I hope that's not just me!),
Just a quick hint - try for some out of the house time each day. Have a look at what your local council, youth group, State parks and libraries have on. You may be surprised at their breadth of activities - particularly for primary school aged children.
A quick walk in your nearest park, a trip on a bus or train somewhere, visiting friends or a picnic in the backyard.
Try and make the time to plant your feet on sand, grass or soil. Try and make time to reconnect with your children and your world.
* My aim is for these posts is meant to useful, interesting and/or inspiring. They are not designed to be used for therapy.. If you are experiencing stress please contact your GP or mental health professional.
Kim Dunn is a Child Psychologist and Founder of Positive Young Minds.