One of the biggest challenges for some students is to learn how to fit in at school, and another challenge is to discover that your child is one of them. Whether it is peer pressure, behavioral adjustment, or learning environment that holds accountable to this challenge, parents are the best people who can look for the red flags and guide their children on how to adapt, beginning at home.
Trying to deal with this problem with an objective approach can be overcome by practicing some of parents’ intuitive ways below.
- Be interested. Ask your child how his/her day has been. Express curiosity. At the end of your conversations, take some important points you heard from your child which you think should be addressed.
- Be diplomatic. Get them comfortable and know their preferences when they go to school. Get them to talk about the day in class and keep your questions open ended.
- Be open. Make yourself relatable by opening up with your personal weaknesses or stories. Talk about your childhood experiences and ask if your child has something similar to share with.
- Be kind and understanding. Acknowledge your child’s feelings. Be quick to listen first to what he/she says and show warm responses. Keep in mind that your child may sometimes feel like not sharing or opening up, so it will be helpful for you not to press on and interrogate. Instead, make your child feel comfortable with the acceptance and understanding you are giving
- Be grateful. Thank your child for sharing his/her experience and complement his/her efforts, not just the results. Express your gratitude for the good your child does and pitch positive reinforcement as necessary.
- Be consistent. Being consistent in what you positively do for your child is often a struggle, but if you keep in mind the goal of demonstrating your love for your child, it becomes more bearable. One distinguishing mark of being a consistent parent is your capacity to love. A good definition of love is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 in the Bible, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” Loving your child is the most consistent thing you can do no matter what.
Parents are expected to relate to their children all the days of their lives. They can take advantage of the many stories, whether good or bad, that their children bring back home. In Victory Christian International School (VCIS), a Christian international school in Manila, parents are encouraged to show involvement in their children’s academic lives through open communication with teachers and other school staff who are willing to respond to any concerns or queries that parents might have. VCIS puts communication from school to home as an integral element to support the parents in knowing not just their children’s academic status, but social adaptations too.