According to Bernadette Hunter, NAHT president 2013-14, ‘Modern life is so highly pressured for parents that it can be easy to forget to do the little things that can make a real difference to a child’s self-esteem. For instance, sometimes we assume our children know that we love them but children need to hear the words.”
Some recommendations contained in a leaflet, Your Child’s Wellbeing: A Short Guide For Parents, issued by the school leaders’ union, the National Association of Head Teachers and the Family Action charity are highlighted as follows;
1. Parents should tell their children they love them every day to help make them more ready for learning at school.
2. Families often assume their sons or daughters feel loved but they need to hear the words frequently to boost their self-esteem.
3. Praise youngsters by repeating phrases such as ‘you are learning fast’, ‘that was a kind thing to do’ and ‘keep working on it, you’re nearly there’.
4. Try to be a ‘positive role model’ by not shouting or swearing in front of children and establishing boundaries to help them ‘feel safe.
5. Praise your child’s efforts as well as achievements, for example telling them they’ve done well for trying hard and that it’s okay to make mistakes.
6. When children do something wrong, tell them, but focus on their action and how to do better next time.
7. When things are difficult help your child to see it as part of life and learning and that it happens to all of us. Teach your child not go give up and to keep trying.
8. Listen to your child and show them you value their views and opinions.
9. Encourage your children to eat a balanced diet, bake and help prepare family meals and exercise vigorously for at least 30 minutes each day.
10. Get out and about as a family, playing tag in the park or going on a bike ride together.
11. Saying ‘well done’ will encourage children to learn that taking on challenges and making mistakes is an essential part of learning.
We absolutely agree with Bernadette Hunter who said “If children feel happy and healthy at home then they come into the classroom free from worries and ready to learn. I believe parents are the best partners schools can have in helping pupils make the most of their education.” She added: ‘The leaflet tells about the importance of helping a child persevere with tasks and reassuring them that it is ok to make mistakes. Trying out some of the suggestions can go a long way to giving children a sense of wellbeing which will give them a good starting point for school life.’
David Holmes, chief executive of Family Action, said: ‘If the practical advice in this simple leaflet makes a parent pause just for a second and reflect on the wellbeing of their child then it will have done a good job.’
Source: Daily Mail UK