Bringing up your child is not a job you have for just a few years. It is a lifelong commitment, as you have to dedicate yourself to helping them through each stage of their lives. One very large chunk of their lives that you will have to be there throughout is their academic career. Our kids start learning from a very young age, and depending on whether they go into further education, many of them do not leave the education system until they are in their early twenties. This can be a challenging time in your life as well as theirs. You have to be the pinnacle of advice, the shoulder to cry on and so much more whilst they try to achieve their academic goals. These years of your child’s life can determine what they end up doing with the rest of their lives, so education is definitely not something to be taken lightly. However, there are plenty of ways you can both support and encourage your child so that they enjoy themselves and thrive within the education system.
Offer praise when needed
When your child is still quite young, they will be working out what subjects they enjoy and what their interests are. The school system and indeed society as a whole puts quite a large emphasis on core subjects like English, Math and Science, so it’s important that you ensure your child is at the very least passing these topics. However, if their talent lies outside of these three subjects, make sure you nurture that too. Tell them when they have done well and when you are proud of them – all this is motivation for them to continue to excel in the future, too. Help them hone their individual skills by offering them extracurricular activities. For example, if your child is a talented artist, consider sending them to a weekend art class.
Ease the financial strain
Let’s face it: college is expensive. It is difficult for many parents to afford to send their kids to school, which is why numbers have been on the decline in recent years. At least you know that it is an investment that will pay off. Your child may also be worried about getting into debt and repaying the government, which is why you may want to look into private student loans. Teach your child the basics of family finance and the importance of budgeting before they head to college, as once they have moved out they will be responsible for their own money.
The academic arena is very competitive these days, with many people going for the same colleges and the same jobs in a limited market. With this in mind, you should demonstrate resilience to your child in the hope that they will notice it. No one’s life and career plans ever work out the same in real life as they do in someone’s head, so make sure you are there to support them even when things are going wrong.