Guidance: Parenting Tips
If you have questions and/or concerns about the academic, social, or emotional well-being of your child, please contact me at school. We will work together to find a solution to your child’s particular situation. I can be reached at 568-6626 if you would like to speak with me regarding your child.
- Build your child's self-esteem by giving frequent hugs and words of praise. Urge your child to take pride in efforts as well as achievements.
- Encourage optimism in every situation. Help your child see mistakes as opportunities to learn, and obstacles as exciting challenges.
- Make sure your child knows you're always available to talk. Ask about school every day and listen with your full attention.
- Teach your child healthy ways to manage stress. Talking to a trusted friend, playing with a pet, reading or enjoying a hobby are just a few options.
- Help your child appreciate life's pleasures. Go to fun events together, play games, and watch funny movies. Enjoy each other and laugh as much as possible.
- Prompt your child to brighten the lives of others by doing things like making surprise gifts for friends or volunteering in the community.
- Ensure that your child eats a balanced diet with plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
- Emphasize the value of exercise and rest. Physical activity relieves stress, boosts energy, and is a natural mood lifter. Adequate sleep prepares your child for each new day.
- Urge your child to seek out upbeat friends. They'll have an impact on your child's outlook.
- Do your best to stay positive and model the attitude you want your child to have. Your child learns from watching you.
Remember, a positive attitude will help your child face every challenge!
Help Your Child be a More Successful Student
Hydrate. Encourage your child to drink at least 8 oz of water every morning before leaving for school. Hydration significantly increases learning retention. Send them to school with a fresh bottle of water each and every day.
Feed their brains. After fasting all night long, the brain needs fuel to get going again. Students with low glucose have difficulty understanding new information, have problems with visual and spatial understanding, and they don't remember things as well. Find breakfast foods they will eat that contain lean proteins and complex carbohydrates. Try low-sugar yogurts, lean meats, eggs, whole grain toast with low-sugar jam, nuts, and old-fashioned, whole-grain oatmeal (not instant). Avoid sugared cereals and refined, white or processed foods, which actually diminish thinking brain functions and lower immune systems.
Set the tone. Create an upbeat, enthusiastic atmosphere in the morning. Be their role model – engage a great attitude towards your own day! Tell your child what you are looking forward to today. Try to steer clear of expressing your stress, anger or anxiety with kids – it negatively impacts their breathing and brain function. Remember, children downshift to their survival brain under duress – it’s how they create a sense of safety - and that downshifting inhibits their learning.
Say it’s so. Research shows that on average, children hear 430 negative comments per day vs. 32 positive ones. Parents’ comments determine a child’s concept of themselves and teach children to see themselves as capable or otherwise. Give your children a positive boost with the words you say to them, and teach your children how to empower themselves using their own internal dialogue. Help them practice by saying it out loud – I’m a great learner, I’m really good at math, I know I’ll figure out the answer, etc. You can play with muscle-testing to show them how their body is strengthened through ‘I can learn’ self-talk and weakened when they engage ‘I’m stupid’ or ‘I'm no good’ negative self-talk.
Breathe. If you’re hurried, worried or tense, chances are huge that you’re not breathing deeply enough. Children model your patterns – so if you hold your breath or have shallow breathing (upper chest only), your child follows suit. Shallow breathing turns off the thinking and learning functions in the brain. Shift yourself (and your kids) with a few good breaths. Practice belly breathing with your kids – send the oxygen deep into the lower lungs (the belly moves way out), then release with a long, slow exhalation. The slower you breathe, the calmer you’ll become.
Movement makes them smarter. 15- 30 minutes a day of some type of movement helps the brain form more connections. Fun, familiar exercise assists the brain in wiring what children are already trying to learn, while new, slow and precise movement creates new brain connections. Try some of each – playing kickball (if familiar already) or a fun walk, and something new like playing hopscotch or basketball for the first time. To learn faster, slow down the movement.
No matter what they do, provide unconditional love and safety - the two essential human needs. When these essential needs are met, regardless of the mistakes we make as we are learning and growing, we develop into capable and kind adults.