Turning your child into an educated person takes more than a monthly check at some fancy private school. Unfortunately, many parents think that paying for their children’s school gives them a free passage to be less interested and involved in the educational process, which often leads to generation gaps and conflicts.
If you want to keep your child on the right path and show genuine interest in his or her future, you need to learn how to listen and find new ways to get involved without being too pushy or demanding.
Here are some tips that will ultimately improve your communication with your child and will also help you improve your parenting skills without neglecting your job or your duties outside the family.
Have realistic expectations
One of the many mistakes parents make is that they expect their children to be prodigies and excel in all curricular areas. You need to learn that it’s more than OK when your child is not a straight-A student and only likes some classes.
If you want to avoid turning your child into an over-achiever and build up frustrations in the future, you need to start paying more attention to your child’s interests and lower your expectations.
Not having realistic expectations can easily lead to anxiety, depression, lack of focus, and even negative changes in behavior, so you need to show your kid support and let him or her know that there is more to education than just having good grades all the time.
Limit the number of extracurricular activities
Parents often try to push their children into taking as many extracurricular activities as possible only to find a hidden talent or a way to keep off the streets and its dangers. Unfortunately, it often leads to burnout and exhaustion, as well as frustration and other negative feelings.
As a parent, you need to understand that your children also need time to enjoy their childhood without worrying about being late for a class after school ended. They need to be able to relax and build their character on their own terms, without being constantly pushed from behind.
It’s OK if your kid is genuinely interested in taking ballet classes, piano classes, swimming, the art of Origami or learning a foreign language. However, forcing your kid to go to all these classes just to make up for the time you cannot spend with him or her will lead to severe conflicts in the future.
Sooner or later, your kids will start skipping those classes or see them as an obligation rather than a fun way to spend their spare time.
Pick up a sport
Not having any extracurricular activities is not good either. With more than 60% of the American children being obese or overweight, it’s important to help them choose the right physical activity or sport for them.
Boxing or wrestling can teach your kid how to be a better man and channel his rage and testosterone into something positive, while ballet or Yoga will build a better body posture and will help strengthen all the muscles.
It is all about finding the right activity for your children without expecting them to turn into professional athletes overnight. Keep in mind that each kid is different, so what may seem fun for some could turn into pure torture for others.
Picking up a superiority attitude toward your child will most likely degenerate into a conflict, especially if we’re talking about teenagers. Avoid being controlling over every aspect of your kid’s life and learn that they need to become their own person, sooner or later.
That being said, don’t assume that you know best just because you’re the parent and make sure you hear out your kids.
Allow them to opt for their own classes at school and experiment with the activities that interest them at that point. Chances are they will get bored easily and switch to a new hobby every other month or, on the contrary, they will discover their true calling and perhaps a career opportunity.