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New books, new stationery, new friends!

These are just a few of the good things to look forward to when bringing in the new school year. Apart from these, there are many constant worries and running thoughts that both a child and a parent experience when preparing to face the pressure of school.

Some parents depend on being productive by intensively preparing their child. This can mean relying heavily on extra tuition lessons to keep their child at the top of their game. This may necessarily be effective as children can make full use of their holidays, and maximise their individual potentials.

On the other hand, some parents plan a well-deserved holiday break when their child produce good results the previous year. This is an even better reason to celebrate the end of the year as you are rewarding them.

For others, they go through the trouble of constantly harping on what to expect for the coming year. This may be effective when done in moderation or when your child needs a constant reminder.

You can also build your child’s confidence, give him or her a little motivational pep talk before school starts. Make casual conversations about what your child has encountered in school the year before. You should allow your child the opportunity to tell you stories and share his or her experience, whether bad or good. Steer away from constant disciplinary talks, and try to communicate with your child like a friend would. This will give your child opportunities to express his or her opinions more openly.

Certain studies have shown that supportive and encouraging parental involvement is typically associated with higher achievement levels. Positive communication is key to school success, whereas parental pressure and punishment are negatively associated with school success.

Communicating with your child’s school

Having good and consistent communication with your child’s school can set the tone for the year. It gives your child the impression that you are interested in his or her school progress and academic success. You should share information about your child’s personality, attitude, interests, behaviour, and concerns with the teachers. You also can effectively play a part in keeping updated on important events for the year, such as Orientation Programmes, Open house, Sports Day and Meet-the-Parents sessions.

Getting unconventional and going beyond academic skills

Splash in some fun and creativity to build up your child’s personality. Use the holidays wisely to get involved with sports activities, family-bonding games and intellectually stimulating games like chess, taboo or charades to brush up your child’s vocabulary skills. It is important to incorporate a variety of activities and budge away from the normal, once in a while. Obstacle courses or creating your own quests such as hunting for cool letterboxes, looking for street signs for the names of the people in your family or scouting for cool and hip restaurants or food joints. If you are into sports and keeping fit, then this is also a good time to invest in building up your child’s physical stamina. What better way to get ahead in the upcoming physical exercise tests?

Fostering great people skills while establishing good friendships

School is the best place and time to build lasting relationships. It is the opportunity to work your people skills, get to know your peers better and create meaningful friendships. It is nice for your child to have good company and inspiring friends throughout his or her academic journey. Motivate your child to make more and new friends in order to have happier recess sessions, field trips, and those dreadful camps!

Inculcating Independence and Self-Discipline

As a parent, it is necessary to set standards and goals for your child to achieve. Amidst all the motivational talks and confidence-building tactics, academic achievement is always at the top of the list. Hence, it is crucial to set certain boundaries and rules for your child to follow and start practicing self-discipline from a young age. An example is to create a goal list such as grades to achieve for each subject this year, get more involved in co-curricular activities or join the student’s council. Setting these goals can allow your child to be more proactive and independent when he or she goes about achieving them.

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