Your child and you

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Digital Exclusive -

Draw up an af­ter-school sched­ule with your child, tak­ing into ac­count his pref­er­ences. For ex­am­ple, some chil­dren like to jump straight into their homework im­me­di­ately af­ter school, while oth­ers pre­fer work­ing in the evening.

“Al­ways fac­tor in breaks so that Ju­nior can visit the toi­let, en­joy some snacks, or sim­ply have a rest,” Dr Lim ad­vises. This can im­prove your child’s con­cen­tra­tion and mood tremen­dously. How­ever, th­ese breaks should not be lengthy enough for him to pro­cras­ti­nate, so keep them to around five to 10 min­utes each.

There’s also the mind­bog­gling task of fig­ur­ing out each child’s ac­tiv­ity sched­ule, from tu­ition to swim­ming and mu­sic lessons. Set up a white­board for the en­tire fam­ily and mark in ev­ery­one’s ac­tiv­i­ties for the week. It makes it eas­ier to keep track of ev­ery­thing.

Play­time

“It’s nec­es­sary for your child to un­wind af­ter a whole day of school,” Jan­ice says. Play can also help your child learn skills that might prove use­ful in the class­room. “Dur­ing free “A pos­i­tive par­ent-teacher re­la­tion­ship can greatly en­hance a child’s aca­demic per­for­mance,” Jan­ice says.

Dr Lim agrees, say­ing: “It’s im­por­tant for par­ents to build rap­port with teach­ers, es­pe­cially if the child is fac­ing aca­demic dif­fi­cul­ties. This en­ables both par­ties to work hand in hand to ad­dress th­ese is­sues.”

Make it a point to at­tend par­ent-teacher con­fer­ences and other school events, and be sure to com­mu­ni­cate your child’s pref­er­ences and habits clearly to his teacher. School can be stress­ful for your lit­tle one, so be sup­port­ive and en­cour­ag­ing. “Chil­dren ex­hibit fear and anx­i­ety in dif­fer­ent forms – this can man­i­fest in avoid­ance be­hav­iours, such as a re­luc­tance to go to school, or even sleep dif­fi­cul­ties,” Jan­ice shares.

Keep an open mind. “Telling your child not to worry is not help­ful. In­stead, ac­knowl­edge and val­i­date his fears. By em­pathis­ing and un­der­stand­ing your child’s fears, you’re also con­vey­ing that things are un­der con­trol,” Jan­ice says.

Dr Lim sug­gests bring­ing up anec­dotes from your own school days or us­ing sto­ry­telling as a tool to il­lus­trate cer­tain is­sues.

Giv­ing your child too much help with his homework can be coun­ter­pro­duc­tive. Homework is meant to be a gauge of your child’s aca­demic abil­i­ties – so Ju­nior’s teacher won’t re­alise that he needs help in Math­e­mat­ics if you’ve been cor­rect­ing his work.

“It’s im­por­tant for your child to un­der­stand that do­ing homework is his re­spon­si­bil­ity and not yours, so avoid get­ting overly in­volved,” Jan­ice says. You can work along­side your child and an­swer ques­tions when needed, but check a few an­swers in­stead of proof­ing ev­ery­thing.

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