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Find out if there is another adult who has connected well with your own child. Have they bonded over sports? Do they like the same music? If you can afford it, buy them tickets to attend an event together.
Be ready for unexpected moments of connection. When your child or another young person starts to talk about something personal, drop everything to pay attention.
Bring your child and one of his or her friends to a museum, concert, or another cultural event that welcomes children.
Remain firm about your expectations as your kids grow, but expect bumps along the way. As kids change schools, go through puberty, and cope with difficulty, their enthusiasm for school and doing well can wane. Be patient but continue to have high expectations.
Think of your teenager as an adult in training. Teach him or her practical things like how to change a tire, prepare a meal, or create a monthly budget.
Give children freedom to make their own choices (as appropriate for their age) so that they feel they have some control over their lives.
Set clear expectations about how you want your child to do in school. This isn’t about putting undue pressure on your child. Instead, it’s about expecting your child to do as well as he or she can.
Talk about the value of education. Even if school isn’t always easy, that doesn’t mean that it’s not important. Emphasize how working hard at school will help your kids succeed.
When you teach your children about the difference between right and wrong, help them learn to listen to their conscience.
Remember intelligence is not fixed: Effort and persistence when facing challenges are important characteristics of a successful student. Tell your child, “smart is not what you are; smart is what you work to become.”
Start family traditions and rituals such as family service projects, game nights, seasonal outings, or family meetings.
When kids have a good start to the school year and settle in well to school, they tend to be more interested in school and doing their best. Help your kids get a good start by being an involved parent.
Forget your worries sometimes and try to concentrate only on your kids.
Create a homework spot. Ideally you should find a place where you can sit right next to your child. You can pay bills, do work, or read while your child studies.
Say more positive things to your family than negative ones.
Ask your children what they like and don’t like about their daily routines. Together figure out changes to improve them.
Find a way to celebrate the first day—or first week—of school. By making it a celebration, you’re showing your kids that you value their education.
Accept your kids as they are.
If you haven’t started already, begin helping your child get into a school routine. Have predictable bed times, meal times, and wake-up times.
Be understanding when your child has a difficult day.