Encouraging Academic Responsibility

  • By: The DIG for Kids
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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All parents want their children to be voracious learners and do well in school but it seems that academic success comes easier for some children than it does for others. While individual children are certain to have varied strengths and weaknesses, there are many things that parents can do to encourage academic responsibility, helping their children to achieve their maximum potential.

Start Young

Parents who hope to raise children who are dedicated to their schoolwork and take responsibility for their academic success need to remember that kids who are responsible students are often responsible in other areas of their life, as well. Attitudes about responsibility begin early in life and even young children can be taught to be accountable for their actions and take pride in their abilities. Teaching kids to be reliable and dependable is well worth the effort because it helps them to find success in many areas of their lives. While it is certainly easier to simply do things for young children rather than taking the time to show them how to be self-sufficient, the payoff for the investment of time is invaluable. Young kids should be encouraged to pick up after themselves, care for their belongings, and contribute to the world around them by caring for pets and helping with simple household chores.

Develop a Love for Learning

Learning begins long before children enter a classroom for the first time and parents are their children’s first and most important teachers. Reading to children is an important step in helping them to be good learners, teaching them an appreciation for words and written communication. It is equally important for parents to initiate conversations with their children, asking them for their opinions and encouraging their thought process. Opportunities for learning are everywhere and smart parents capitalize on them. Kids are naturally curious creatures, so providing them with a willing ear for their questions and help in finding answers is a great way for parents to help their kids become successful in the academic arena. Helping kids to utilise research materials and familiarising them with their local libraries are great steps toward success in school.

The Right Stuff

While it is not necessary to set up a classroom in the household, it is beneficial to children to have a quiet place at home for doing homework and working on school projects. If space permits, a desk, comfortable chair, appropriate lighting, and access to basic school supplies can make it much easier for children to complete their classroom assignments. In small flats, a corner of the dining table will do, just so that children have consistent access to their work area on a daily basis. Additionally, establishing a set routine for the completion of schoolwork is a good idea. Kids who are expected to finish their homework before they are allowed to play develop sound habits which will become increasingly important as the children advance in school and the workload increases. Good time management and organisational skills are vital to academic success.

Reward Their Efforts

Child development experts call them rewards and parents may simply call them bribes, but one thing is certain — they work. Rewarding children for their efforts and accomplishments is a great way to encourage further success. Kids respond well to positive reinforcement (don’t we all?!), so taking the time to notice and comment on children’s good choices is wise. All too commonly we focus on the things that children do wrong, rather than providing kudos for their good behaviour, only to wonder why they seem discouraged rather than enthusiastic. Parents have the ability to choose what type of environment that they will provide for their growing children, and one where kids are praised and rewarded for being reliable and responsible is certain to be happier than one in which the children are constantly reminded of and berated for their shortcomings.

Setting a Good Example

Parents tend to set rules, lecture children, and dole out punishments for inappropriate behaviour, all of which have some affect on the kids’ choices. The thing that shapes children’s behaviour most, however, is the choices that they see the influencial adults in their lives making every day. Kids learn most by watching the way that their parents interact with the world and manage their own responsibilities, so it is important that parents set good examples for their children to follow. Expressing a positive attitude about work and household responsibilities, meeting deadlines, encouraging family members and co-workers, and making learning a life-long process are all things that parents can do to encourage their children to become responsible people, academically and otherwise.

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