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Resolve to make this year the best one yet

Teaching Your Child

August 20, 2010|By LISA PREJEAN

The school year is beginning. Are you resolved?

Did you think I would ask if you were ready?

No, that's what you ask someone in a store's Back to School section.

So what kind of question is this? Resolved to do what?

Resolved to make this year the best one yet.

Parents know that the ideal time of year to make resolutions isn't Dec. 31. School success resolutions are best when made in mid-August.

Now is the time when we should set goals for our children and with our children.

If we want them to succeed, we need to actively pursue that success with them.

What kind of resolutions should we set? Of course, some will depend on the individual, but there are basic ones for all students:

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o I resolve to learn as much as I can from my teachers, textbooks and resources.

o I resolve to pay attention in class.

o I resolve to be respectful of my teachers, even when I don't agree with them.

o I resolve to do assignments on time to the best of my ability.

o When I mess up, I resolve to learn from the mistake and go on. I will not give up on myself.

o I resolve to work hard both for the teachers I like and the ones who aren't my favorite. This is my education - not theirs.

o I resolve to encourage my classmates to do their best. No teasing, no bullying.

o I resolve to be honest about situations at school.

These goals are lofty, but they can be achieved, especially if parents set some goals, too. Here are some possibilities for parents:

o I resolve to celebrate this educational journey with my child.

o I will be kind when I ask questions about schoolwork and tests. And I will ask questions, no matter how tired I am.

o I will set guidelines for my child so he or she knows I have a plan that rewards him or her for diligence.

o I will also set guidelines for my child so he or she knows that there are consequences for slothfulness.

o I resolve to remember that my child is a child. He or she has a lot of growing and learning to do.

o Likewise, I resolve to remember that my child is not perfect ... and neither am I.

o I resolve to be respectful when addressing the other authority figures in my child's life. I will avoid verbal attacks on teachers, coaches and advisers.

o I resolve to be understanding when my child fails to meet a goal. I will challenge my child to learn something from the experience.

o My love and acceptance of my child will not be tied to his or her performance. Even on the "bad" days, I will offer a hug and an affectionate word.

o I realize that my child's success begins in my home. My involvement matters, and it is a privilege.

And here's one for a Family page columnist:

o I resolve to offer best wishes to each of you for the very best school year ever.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page.

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