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Habits, the way forward: Setting children up for success in 2019 and beyond

Habits, the way forward: Setting children up for success in 2019 and beyond

What can you do to help keep your child passionate about learning and increase the likelihood of school success followed by university success? The following are some everyday suggestions for home and school.

Education
By BISP

Monday 21 January 2019, 11:00AM


Over 100 university admission officers visited British International School, Phuket (BISP) last year. Photo: BISP.

Over 100 university admission officers visited British International School, Phuket (BISP) last year. Photo: BISP.

Give your child regular work respon­sibilities. Preschoolers can pick up toys and put dirty clothes in the hamper; primary age youngsters can set the table and empty the garbage; and teen­agers can wash the dishes and start the laundry. What the chore is really doesn’t matter. Regular household re­sponsibilities lead to a work ethic that is compatible with study habits and school routine.

Don’t give your child so many ‘free­bies’. A third pair of basketball shoes is not a birthright. Giving youngsters so many ‘things’ is incompatible with developing an expectation that some ‘things’, including acquiring knowledge and learning, are difficult and require hard work.

Insist on seeing things through as a personal value. When children begin new projects (football, an instrument, a club) they should be made to complete them. If they join a team, they stay until the season is over. Many children develop habits of quitting when things become uninteresting or difficult. They need to learn that hard work is an in­evitable part of almost any activity – in­cluding school.

Promote personal values over peer conformity. Not every person is going to the movies; not all 14-year-olds have an 11pm curfew; and not every 16-year-old is allowed to go to a club. There is nothing that squelches personal initia­tive more than an obsessive desire to be like everybody else. Saying ‘no’ will not harm your children and will reinforce parental values. Independent children are better able to focus on their school subjects rather than their hairstyles.

Make your child personally account­able for his or her behaviour. When things do not work out, we can blame the neighbourhood children, the teach­ers, the immigration officials, and we can blame the coaches. But it is obvi­ous what children learn when blame is always placed on others. A personal sense of accountability impacts upon children’s learning in school; it enables them to have pride in their successes while also enabling them to acknowl­edge, and learn, from their failures.

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Teach your child to care about oth­ers. Getting along and showing con­sideration for other people’s feelings is an important life skill. Problems can be solved better when everyone works together and agrees on a solution. Few people work in isolation. Success, in and out of school, often depends on co-operation.

What will help your child to become a successful university student? It all starts with the habits learned in pri­mary and secondary school. Now is the time to make those new year resolu­tions that will aid in your children’s school success.

– Dale Ford


Dale Ford is one of two University Counsellors at British International School, Phuket. For more information, visit them at www.bisphuket.ac.th

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