The 21st century, 2020 in particular, has brought about great changes to the way people view and engage with child development. COVID-19 has forced many parents across the United States to reconsider how they engage with and counsel their children on their goals. In the past, there was a heavy reliance on education institutions to provide and cultivate academic excellence in America’s youth. It’s becoming an increasingly popular trend to take some of the onus off of educational professionals, and back into the hands of the parents. Particularly, public-school officials.
So, as a parent, how do you help your child achieve throughout not only a school year but in life? Sadly, there is no definitive answer. No one has pinned the ultimate guide to success and parenting. However, that question does open a wealth of opportunity for both you and your child to explore, grow, and learn how to reach their goals. There are a few good principles to follow as you help your child along their individual path. Keep reading to learn more.
From a young age, children are constantly absorbing the world around them. Their very genetic information pushes them to act as an information sponge during their developmental years. Around the age of seven, they advance to new stages of their growth and begin to become inspired by the world they live in. Artistic talents start to show. Interests begin to form. However, this is easier for some than others.
It is important to expose children to a range of opportunities as they grow into young adults. This could be exposure to automotive technology. Bring your child along with you when you change the oil, replace a taillight, or perform other preventive maintenance. You never know, they could sign up for an Automotive and Diesel Technology program when they get older due to helping you when they were young.
Inspiration comes in many forms. This could also be in the form of the holy spirit. Take your child to church. If you can, allow them to see how different religions worship. Being exposed to the experience might inspire them to pursue a life dedicated to God. The goal is to allow your child to see opportunities and experiences they might not get in public schools.
Inspiration is the first step. Once your child shows some competency and interest in something, it’s time to motivate them. You’ll want to nurture their interests with different degrees of reinforcement. Be careful though, aggressive pursuit of a passion can lead to negative outcomes.
One of the simplest ways to motivate a child is to give them information on what they enjoy. If they liked working on the diesel engine with you, give them materials on a diesel technology program. Or if they did feel the gift of the holy spirit, get them a confirmation gift. Bibles make great confirmation gift ideas. These keepsakes can be a motivating force for a lifetime and even passed down from generation to generation.
Additional ways to motivate your child don’t have to be in the form of a tangible item but in kind words and expressions. Offer words of encouragement to their choices. Show up to events that are related to their interests. Be a part of their special day, whatever that happens to be. Kids forgive, but they also remember when you showed up to the regional soccer final or communion.
Remember to never press them to go beyond what they want. Though at first, it could appear like you are helping, it can create issues with whose goal is actually taking shape.
Knowledge is power. In this case, knowledge forms a partnership with your children’s goals. Once there is proper motivation to pursue a course of action, it’s time to prepare your child for their academic future — and no, not just high school and college. One of the biggest mistakes many families make with considering education is that it is limited to this structure.
A strong educational foundation can be found in numerous other areas. There are several options to consider. For the hands-on worker interested in diesel technology or electrical systems, a vocational technology program would be ideal. Vo tech schools specialize in several high-demand fields. They offer technical training that prepares students for an easy transition into their field of study.
If you want to have more say in your students’ teachers and faculty are, you might want to consider a charter school. Institutions like the Collaborative charter academy aim to prepare students for global opportunities. The possibilities within a school like this aren’t as limiting as what can be taught in a public school. Many charters are not private, however, and there are numerous public charter schools to choose from. You’ll want to consider the curriculum that’s being taught at the school before you make any decisions.
Additionally, you’ll want to take with your child about secondary, or higher, education when they are in their early to mid-teens. Before your child adds to the nearly $1.6 trillion of debt, they should have an understanding of all of the options available to them. They can receive a quality education without sinking into this mountain of debt. Community colleges have several certificates and AA degrees. Your child could attain the associate of applied science degree from a community college before moving on to a 4-year institution. The price per semester at a community college is on average several thousand dollars less than 4-year programs.
Ultimately, don’t allow you and your child to be passive in their education. Research, plan and discuss the options available to you. There isn’t one set path.
Finally, one of the most difficult things to do as a parent is to give your child space. Pump the brakes on how much guidance you are giving them. They are never going to work in the transportation industry, write that bestseller, or get their associate of applied science with you constantly over their shoulder. You have to let them try on their own. Even if that means failure.
This doesn’t mean you don’t support their endeavors. Quite the opposite. It means your part in the process is more hands-off. You’ve got them into that public charter school or helped with their online enrollment. You’ve given them that confirmation gift and proven that you care. It’s time to see what direction they will go with all of the inspiration, motivation, and education you’ve given them.
You will be needed for the moments of doubt, remember. Be ready to offer words of support and encouragement if and when they experience failure when on their own. Once you’ve helped them over the hurdle, you’ll need to go back to your hands-off approach, though. Their goals are their own. Giving them space to acutely define them is important and part of the process.
Ultimately, the journey is going to be different for everyone. Your children might experience some vastly different approaches that work for them. That doesn’t mean that each of them won’t achieve what they set out to do.
Be confident in your abilities to help. Keep trying the strategies that you think are working, and don’t be afraid to adapt when they don’t. If you can do that, you’ll be a lot closer to helping your children succeed.