It is important to always note that every child is unique and will develop differently, no two children ever grow at the same pace mentally, socially or emotionally. Likewise, each child will have his/her fair share of challenges while in school. The world is moving at a fast pace and societal values and norms are being questioned and altered. Also schooling for our children today is quite different from ours. We live in an age where children are more inquisitive, exposed and know no world without internet, cell phones and electronics.
Some Common Struggles faced by school aged children:
- Peer Pressure and trying to fit in
- Bullying (including cyber-bullying)
- Navigating the online world
- Handling Failures and Disappointments
- Expressing Individuality
- School Safety and Anxiety
- Delaying Assignments and Projects Deadline
WHAT’S A PARENT ‘TO DO’?
One of the most powerful approach in parenting is involving your child in a problem-solving discussion. It helps the child to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills which help in difficult situations. Common mistakes parents make include overreacting, being judgmental and opting for physical disciplinary measures. These approaches can make a child to be withdrawn or resentful towards the parents.
Here are some approaches to take in helping your school age children handle challenges
- Help them Prioritize: Children tend to procrastinate; a little planning together can help them to overcome this habit. Keeping a routine that balances schoolwork, play time and family time can help children to be organized and well-coordinated. Consistent and regular routines help children to be more self-reliant and perform better at school.
- Build Self-Esteem: Early building of a child self-esteem will stay with them for a long time. Encouraging them to join a school club or sports team will help them to feel included and give them something to be proud of. Also, Parents should model confidence, admit their mistakes and apologize for their shortcomings as this gives the children a stronger understanding of self-esteem. As a saying goes “action speaks louder than voice”.
- Handle Bullying: Let your child know you expect them to stand up to bullies and assist others in need. Teach them to resist the bully’s power by being confident and to stay kind, as kindness always wins.
- Monitor Online Life: Parents and Caregivers have an important role to play in ensuring that children learn safe ways to use technology and the social media space. Excessive screen time can lead to poor performance in school, obesity and cyberbullying. It is the duty of parents and caregivers to balance screen time with offline time to encourage face-to-face time with families, friends and teachers.
- Get a Child caregiver: Parenting can be overwhelming especially when both partners are working full-time. Getting a good care giver will come a long way to ease the burden of juggling work and childcare.
ROLES OF CAREGIVERS IN HELPING SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN OVERCOME CHALLENGES.
Caregivers are often in a better position to identify the strength and needs of children in their care because that is what they are trained to do. Getting a quality childcare is an investment because the emotional, cognitive and social development of your child is guaranteed. Caregivers are equipped with the necessary skills to help children to overcome challenges in school or elsewhere.
The parents and the child caregiver must work together to ensure that the child’s“total” wellness is a top priority and plan out ways to navigate them. There should be a clear line of communication between parents and caregivers in ensuring that they are both on the same page morally and value-wise. It is the role of the caregiver to ensure that the instructions of parents regarding screen time, homework and playtime are painstakingly followed. Caregivers should supervise, monitor and listen to children in their care and alert the parents of any “odd” traits in their children.
In Conclusion, Parents and caregivers have major roles to play in ensuring that children are properly nurtured and equipped with skills to help them overcome any challenges in school, among peers and life.
Strong Tower Home Health Services is well positioned to give your child the best head start in life.