Education is important; it is a major determinant of life chances. But education is not a given, parents can do much to foster educational achievement in their children.
First parents need to know that every child has the potential for educational success. Your children almost certainly have the ability to succeed in school. There are common stereotypes about educational achievement that are false, such as that girls are not as good at mathematics or science or engineering as boys, or that the daughter of a single mother who works as a hospital cleaner cannot aspire to become a brain surgeon. These stereotypes are dangerous myths and as a parent you have to examine whether you believe them. If you do believe them you need to re-examine your beliefs.
Social class is a better predictor of performance in school than IQ; this is because working class parents and teachers believe that working class children are less likely to succeed in school than middle class children. There are role models such as President Obama which show that such stereotyping is wrong. Introduce your child to appropriate role models. You do not have to like President Obama to present him as a role model; he is an African American from a single parent family who became a Harvard professor and president against the odds. Your child too can beat the odds, with your help.
Parents need to foster a winning attitude in their children. They have to convince their children that they can succeed. It is the subconscious mind that needs to know this and the subconscious mind is negative and difficult to access. There are certain principles that derive from mental programming that should be followed in encouraging your child:
Provide role models for educational achievement.
You, your child and his teachers must not think that working class, African, Hispanic, or poor children cannot succeed in school. This is untrue.
Ignore the problem focus on the solution. Do not for instance say you must not watch TV while doing homework. Avoid negatives, be positive; say do your homework in a place free of distractions, and name that place. Set aside an area where the child can do homework free of the distractions of TV.
Belief and confidence. Believe in the abilities of your child and yourself and have confidence in them. The human mind is infinitely powerful and it has few limitations. If you have confidence in the ability of your child to achieve then you will instill that confidence in your child also, and your child will achieve what he or she believes he or she can achieve.
By: Francis David