As the school year moves into full swing, here are some tips for busy parents who want to be involved with their children:
At dinner, start a sentence the whole family must finish. For example, “The most interesting thing I learned today was ...” or “One of the things I did well today was ...” Let everyone take a turn finishing the sentence and discussing each person’s contribution.
Keep a small pad handy to write a brief note of thanks to the teacher when your child shows new skills or excitement about school. You could also use the notes to ask questions.
Ask teachers for a good time to call for 5 to 10 minutes about any specific concerns you might have.
If your child is struggling with something, resist any urge to blame the teacher. It only strains relationships, and often delays the constructive resolution of a problem.
Instead, join forces with the teacher to reach the common goal of helping your child find success. Identify an area of challenge and then plan together how to overcome it.
Don’t hesitate to ask your child’s teacher for advice. He or she can help with behavior problems as well as homework hassles.
Teachers can provide insights based on their experience. But then it’s important to make a good-faith effort to follow that advice.
Small steps can often make a big difference.