When my kids were growing up, I often wished they would just stop growing up!
This was especially true in regards to school–it just kept getting harder. And that meant more and more and more time on school and less and less and less time on us. It also meant that they would, at times, become discouraged. Well I didn’t like that and neither should you. Yes, academics are tough but so are moms and we can help our kids! So here are 3 ways I help my kids when the going gets tough: academics!
1. Give Special Encouragement in the Tougher Years:
Everyone knows that some grades are tons harder than others. Sometimes, it’s those difficult grade transitions jumping from one school to the next. That means there are at least 3 opportunities for sure to look out for: between elementary and middle school, between middle school and high school, and between high school and college. Other times it’s subject jumps that throw kids. For mine, it was usually math. Certain math years are tougher. When your kids hit a difficult year you can keep them going with a lot of encouragement and prayer. I have often used notes in the lunch box. It was my way of inserting a little hug in the middle of the day. Words like, “I am praying for you during your math test at 2:20. You can do it!” For encouraging word ideas you can print iMOM’s lunch box notes, fill in the blanks, add a little sweet treat and make your child’s day! (teen version here) For ways to pray for your child print these: 10 Ways to Pray for Your Child, 10 Ways to Pray for Your Teen
2. Enforce Helpful Habits:
School is exhausting especially for boys who have a hard time sitting still. So I let my kids have a break for a snack or a shower, if they had a practice after school, but then I make sure they knock out the homework before they play. Enforce a habit of work before play–it’s a great life lesson. Other great habits at our house include no TV/video games during the school week. Yep, I am a meanie. My kids have actually grown up with that rule and so they never really complain. And they don’t have stereo’s or TV’s in their rooms either so it was pretty quiet–well as quiet as it could be with 5 kids.
3. Discourage Competing with Classmates:
One of the biggest challenges our kids faced at school is the pressure to compete with other students. We have a really competitive high school with dozens of crazy hard AP class options. Once my kids understood the weight that test scores hold, they will naturally wanted to do as well as their classmates—or even better. As parents, it is our job to discourage our kids from comparing their own academic abilities with others’ because it can lead to one of two things. Either they will get discouraged if they can’t beat their classmates scores or they will become prideful if they do. Teach your child to focus on doing the best they can because at the end of the day, that’s what matters.
What does your child struggle with academically? And how do you keep them going?