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4 Ways You May Be Stopping Your Child From Doing Well At School

4 Ways You May Be Stopping Your Child From Doing Well At School

It is widely believed that kids whose parents set high academic expectations for generally do better in school, however, children’s empowerment expert, Mark Papadas, says it is crucial to note that when parents set unreasonable expectations for their kids at a very young age, it creates a pattern of failure and disappointment in the mind of the child, which can, in turn, lead to negative self-image.

Being “bad at school” then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy which, if unchecked, will spiral to other negative beliefs about themselves.

Here are four VERY common ways you could be hurting your child’s ability to perform well in school:

1. You set the bar way too high.

Every year there’s a story about a 10-year-old graduating high school or a 17-year-old getting acceptance letters from all 8 of his favorite Ivy League schools. While these things are possible, is it realistic to expect it from EVERY child? Obviously not.

Instead of holding your kids up to unrealistic expectations, work in conjunction with (or in bad situations, outside of) the classroom to set realistic incremental growth goals for your kids. A motivated student with an involved parent(s) can (and will) maximize your child’s efforts in school.

2. You’re not clear about what you expect.

In my experience with both adults and children, I find that people live up to expectations when given the chance. However, when children are never informed about what’s expected of them, how are they supposed to figure out how to succeed? This requires communication.

Have a discussion (not a lecture) with your kids about what you expect from them both now and in the future, and they’ll be sure to work hard to make that happen.

READ ALSO: 9 Ways To Make Doing Homework An Easier Routine For Kids

3. You think your kids should want the same things you do.

Many parents project their own aspirations onto their kids. It usually one of two forms – you either want them to be exactly like you, or you want them to do what you never could.

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Although you may be happy in your own endeavors, your child may be interested in something totally different. Or they be a natural at something you’ve always been terrible at.

If you are looking to be a good role model and you love what you do, your kids will be naturally curious. Let them do what they do naturally and explore. But if they don’t want to follow in your footsteps, there are tons of opportunities out there for them to explore. Stop pushing them so hard towards something they don’t like.

4. You let grades define their success.

Subjective aspirations are expectations that the student has no control over. In a perfect world, every child would straight A’s and a 4.0 grade point average.

But what is your kid supposed to do about the hard-ass teacher who doesn’t give A’s? You know the one I’m talking about – the teacher who is going to show kids how life “really works”.

As parents, we should never set subjective expectations for our kids. Your expectations should be measurable while having a degree of flexibility to account for effort and outside forces beyond their control.

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