How do we know when to ‘lean in’ and ‘lean out’ of the learning journey of our kids? All this talk of helicopter parenting and the need to build resilience makes decisions tough. Our role can feel further muddled when additional learning supports are brought into the mix – especially for parents of gifted children or children with learning difficulties.
Jerome Barty-Taylor, Managing Director of Barty Education and Development, provides some practical advice.
When should I lean in to my child’s learning?
There is never a wrong time to lean in, but you must do it in the right way. Being involved in your child’s learning will yield positive results at all ages. One effective way of leaning in is setting high academic expectations (and justifying why). Another is listening to your primary-aged child read.
Communicate with teachers to understand if your child is achieving basic benchmarks – parental support is essential for students with a learning difference. They must learn to compensate for their challenges, rather than surrender to learned helplessness.
When is it time to take a step back?
Notice your child’s organisation skills and learning maturity. If you’re still finding crumpled pieces of homework at the bottom of the school bag, it’s not time to lean out.
Organisation is a learnt behaviour so it’s important to set a good example. Look at the systems you’ve created to organise your home; creating systems for managing life and explaining their logic provides practical examples of organisation that students can mimic.
If self-management continues to be a problem, it could be an indication you need additional support.
How will my role change with additional support?
The parent’s role doesn’t diminish. This support person is only present part-time, and their role is to create a strategy that helps your child, while you approve and implement that plan. Think of it this way: when a company hires a consultant, the CEO is still in charge. You hire a specialist to get things back on track, but it’s your responsibility to maintain momentum. You still have the ultimate responsibility to make it work.
What if I’ve failed; can we get back on track?
If you’re not getting any traction with your child, then additional support is an opportunity to reset the relationship. Open communication is key at this point. If you’re at an impasse, put your child in a new context to talk about their learning. For example, try going out for a meal or activity you know they love. Use that (head)space to open a dialogue.
Students of all ages need to feel like parents are on their side. Spending one-to-one time often works, even for teenagers.
If you are interested to learn more about the role of parents in learning support, or you need some advice about supporting your child’s learning , reach out to Jerome and his team of expert tutors at BartyED via firstname.lastname@example.org
2799 6438 | bartyed.com
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