By Dr. Charles Fay
· Set aside a time each day for family learning.
Set aside at least 30 minutes, devoted to "family brain cell development." During this time, there should be no TV, video games, computer games, etc.
Model your own excitement for learning by reading a book, writing letters, etc.
Your child may learn by doing their homework, reading about something they love, writing stories, etc.
· Help only when your child truly wants it.
Some parents make the mistake of forcing help upon their kids. This only creates frustration, anger, and kids who believe they can't learn without their parents' help.
· Help only when there's an absence of anger or frustration.
When either you or your child gets frustrated or angry, learning becomes associated with frustration and anger.
· Help only when your child can describe what the teacher said.
This ensures that your child continues to believe that it's important to pay attention to teachers.
Unfortunately, some kids learn that it's best to "tune–out" at school and let their parents do all of the teaching at home.
· Move away from your child before he/she "gets it."
Some children believe they can only learn something, or "get it," when an adult is in the same room…or is guiding them every inch of the way.
To prevent this dependency, avoid falling into the habit of sitting at the table as your child does their homework, especially when they are on the brink of learning something new.
THE CARDINAL RULE FOR HELPING:
Never Work Harder Than Your Child.
Dr. Charles Fay is a parent, author, and consultant to schools, parent groups, mental health professionals around the world and President of the Love and Logic Institute in Golden, CO. His video, Hope for Underachieving Kids, and his book, Love and Logic Magic When Kids Leave You Speechless provide a wealth of ideas for raising kids who are ready to learn and ready for the real world. For more information about Love and Logic parenting and teaching techniques, call 800-338-4065.