As your children become high school or college students, some parents may feel they have less influence (or work) than when they were in diapers. That is definitely not true. While you may not need to feed them any more, there is more brain work involved. In fact, parents can play an important role in the success of their children in high school and college.
- Show interest in what they are interested in
Your child in high school will soon begin to show interest in subjects and activities that may spur on the big “career” decision. Take the time to learn more about the things that captivate their attention. It will not only help to nurture their passion but will also encourage them to do well in it. Your engagement will act as motivation and will hold them answerable to their goals.
- Give them room to grow
As your young adult develops and grows, don’t be alarmed when they seem to be retreating into their own space more often. Keep a watchful eye, from a distance, but allow them the room to figure things out on their own. A hovering parent can sometimes come across as a controlling parent. And a controlling parent can, at times, spur on a rebellious streak.
- Hold them accountable
Encourage them to set measurable goals – daily, monthly and yearly – and hold them accountable to it. Discuss their progress with them and celebrate each milestone reached! Teach them that success is a few (planned) moves away and that reaching your dreams is achievable, if you put your focus in the right place. College students should be checking in on their own goals, every few months, to make sure that they are still on track.
- Teach them that learning is their job
Beat any negative connotations about school by reiterating the value and importance of learning. Knowledge is power! Remind them that learning is their job, not yours. Encourage them to dedicate time and energy towards preparing for examinations and tests. And allow them to feel the repercussions if they fail to do so!
- Set solid boundaries in place
Allow your child the freedom to explore who they are and determine the type of adult they want to be. However, make sure to set firm boundaries in place, as the head of your home. You are the moral compass for your children and although they need room to discover, they also need to be steered in the right direction at times. Your rules and regulations will act as a blueprint when you are not around to keep an eye.
- Agree to disagree
You may not always agree with the same ideologies and trends as your young adult. The generation gap will sometimes feel like a hindrance to your relationship. But by choosing to be tolerant to the things that you do not understand, and allowing them the room to share their thoughts – even though you don’t always agree! – you encourage your child to be a free thinker and to speak up for themselves.
- Teach them how to plan
You are giving your child valuable tools by teaching them how to plan and schedule ahead of the time. Study timetables, routines and lists can encourage them to take their schooling more seriously and will help them to stay focused when they feel overwhelmed. By inspiring them to strategize and use their time wisely, they will begin to suss out which tasks take priority. This can eventually become a skill that they are able to apply to all areas of their lives. College students especially should be motivated to get to know their course outlines and to prep beforehand.
- Encourage excellence
First place may not be everything, but it definitely is something to aspire too. Motivate your child to be the best that he/she can be by encouraging them to excellence! University of Rochester’s Professor of Psychology, Dr Edward Deci, shared that one-on-one conversations are crucial to helping your child unlock the deep well of potential inside of them. Words of affirmation, pep talks and celebrating their successes are sure fire ways to embolden your child to greatness!
- Down time is necessary
All work and no play may sound like the key to schooling success but the lack of social time can be harmful to your adolescent. Focusing on academics only may thwart other areas of your young adult’s social life which could prevent them from developing sound business skills such as networking or being able to work within a team. Scholar and author, Ferris Jabr, wrote that downtime helps the brain to make sense of what was recently learned. Allow your teen ample opportunity to have fun and enjoy their youth!
- Empower your teenager
Help to drive your teenager towards their destiny by taking their interests seriously. If your child shows a calling in a particular profession, give them the tools needed to excel in that space! Books, information, equipment, short courses and a lot of time to practice are some key elements to do so. Cheerlead their best efforts and inspire them to do even better.