I am not sure who said “the past does not equal the future” (maybe Tony Robbins) but I think it is an important reminder as we start the new school year. Just because “x, y and z” happened last year, does not mean it will happen again this year. Each new school year is a chance to start over…a bit like new years. It does have some of the same problems though….we start off fresh and then fall back into our old habits just like those resolutions that last a day or a week.
This year, why not focus on the positive. Acknowledge your child every day they sit down and get to their homework on their own. Rather than “that’s great!” try something that shows how responsible they are being or mentions the new habits they are developing that can lead to improved grades. This encourages them to put the specifics together with their feelings about what you said. This ignites a little intrinsic motivation fire that hopefully they will want to continue to fuel. When kids feel good about themselves and what they can do…there is no stopping them.
Staying with the theme of the positive this year, ask “what” questions rather than “why” questions. Can you hear the difference between: “What homework will you work on next?” And “Why isn’t your math done yet?” It’s all a matter of how you phrase things. Asking “why” questions has an implied judgment in it, don’t you think?
Parents, the new school year isn’t just a fresh start for your child, it is for you too. What can you do to make “x”, “y” and “z” better for yourself and your family this year?
Wishing all my clients and their families (and students and families everywhere) an organized, calm, and successful school year.
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