SET YOUR PRESCHOOLER UP FOR SUCCESS
From an early age, it has now been proven that parents who set "great" expectations for their children are far more likely to see their children accomplish and succeed later in life. In other words the expectations we hold for our children are vital in determining their academic and social outcomes.
In one study, research was done between "hands on" and "hands off" parenting styles. The proof was clear that parents who had a disinterested attitude with few expectations were more likely to raise a child who leaned towards drugs and bad behaviour and poorer relationships with their parents. Whereas children raised in an environment where children were monitored and expected to participate in daily chores, study and have decent marks and involvement in school and who were expected to have meals at regular times together fared far better and resulted in a far more positive result in their academic achievements and behaviour. These children are also far less likely to drop out of school.
Another very interesting study observed the impact that mother's high expectations had on children even when the teachers had little faith in a child’s abilities at school. It was found that mothers high expectations could have a huge buffering effect on children when teachers had low expectations of those same children. Although the study did find that children excelled when both teacher and parent had high expectations of the children. These conclusions all point to the fact that expecting achievements from our children is very important in helping them to build confidence in themselves and encouraging them to try a little harder.
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Lady Bird Johnson once said that “children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.” Since then, solid evidencehas suggested that parental beliefs and attitudes largely influence children’s outcomes.
Be careful to raise your expectations gradually and consistently. Finding a balance and moving gradually through each learning curve is just as important. Parental over aspiration can defeat the whole purpose and be detrimental to children's academic growth. The most important lesson is to be very present and involved with your child’s constant growth. It’s not useful to compare to other children. Be aware of your child’s abilityto move on to the next challenge whether it’s reading a more difficult book, moving on to more challenging math problems or even physical activities. Each child is unique and will have better abilities in certain areas and weaker abilities in other areas. Find your child's individual niche and they will excel.Be careful not to aim too low and risk children being bored and underachieving out of fear of new challenges.
Gradually build confidence through persevering and completing tasks. Giving children tasks within their abilities will help them to gain the confidence to move onto a slightly more challenging task. Here’s the point when you will have to raise the expectation a little. Keep in mind that tasks that are too difficult and lead to ongoing failure will lead to a feeling of helplessness so the progression must be gradual.
Setting daily goals and being intentional is part of the routine that will help your child to move forward. Creating daily habits like reading a book alone for 15 minutes and then you joining in and finishing a few pages will help your child develop the patience to work on something and then have the interest from a parent after they have completed their assignment.
This falls in line with another psych finding: The Pygmalion effect, which states “that what one person expects of another can come to serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy.” In the case of kids, they live up to their parents’ expectations.
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9083 W Peakview Drive
Littleton, CO 80123
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