Embrace the challenge. Pursue the art of being an effective parent for the young learner/s in your household. Invite allies, but don’t yield that sacred responsibility to anyone else.

To excel in school and in life, students need to know that their parents are a powerful, loving force that they can depend on.

All children need an adult who they want to please, not disappoint. Parents are the clear first choice. The role of parents in providing thoughtful interventions is enormously important to effectively support students to study well, graduate several times, and go on to succeed in their careers. Hone the art of parenting students to climb to the head of the class and earn bragging rights about their success.

How? First, focus on your home environment. Your children must know that you are serious about their learning quest. Create a quiet, comfortable place where they can study. Minimize distractions. Monitor the use of technology for homework tasks while letting them take an occasional short break to check for messages and interact with friends in their networks. Encourage them to complete tasks early and avoid homework on weekends.

Students often overestimate what they can do on weekends. A good rule to practice is to make sure that assignments are completed by Friday. That way, weekends can provide opportunities for family activities, chores or rest.

Take an interest in their daily learning journey. Each day, ask your children what important words they learned in school and encourage them to talk about their learning adventures. Let them know that their first draft must not be their last. Listen carefully as they read each draft to you and provide constructive feedback. Don’t do their homework for them, assist them.

Encourage them to work with classmates, sharing strengths and learning through teaching. Provide snacks and fun as part of the process. Use rewards and consequences to reflect your awareness of their efforts or lack thereof. They must know that it matters to you that they stay on task and do their best.

Next, go to school. Be proactive. Visit their teachers. Let them know that you are going to be a strong advocate for your children and want to be involved in helping them to succeed. Let the teachers know that you care and are paying attention. Collaboration is essential and is most likely to yield positive outcomes when parents take the initiative to be partners in their children’s educational journey. Don’t wait for a crisis. Insist on being in the loop and part of the team.

Ask for advice, welcome interventions aimed at correcting errors and addressing underperformance.

Be clear that you will be an indispensable ally supporting your children’s quest to be their best.

There is wisdom in teaming up with other parents with students in the same class as your own children. You can share information and develop ways to seek and support your children collectively.

Respect the roles of teachers and school officials but remain mindful and vigilant knowing that it takes parents and teachers working together with students for mission success. Teachers must advocate for all students. You must advocate for your children.

Your daughters and sons must know that you are an integral part of their educational journey. So much so, that the grades in their report card should not come as a surprise to you. Being involved should mean you are getting regular updates on how your children are doing early in the school year.

Teachers and parents are all very busy. Not all communication needs to take place in person. Whatever form it takes, it should never be confrontational or adversarial. You are on the same side. Express gratitude when they are on point and nudge them when your children are struggling. Together, you hold the keys to open doors to a successful year and a rewarding future for our children.

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