Improving school performance with Effective Praise
Not doing homework and poor grades are areas of contention for many families. Some children seem to excel at school without much effort. While others struggle to get their homework in and take tests. All children need encouragement and praise, but it is especially true of children who are struggling. To help your child improve grades, school performance, and their self confidence there are certain steps you can take. These steps are called Effective Praise. Using Effective praise allows you to see, and verbalize, the good things your child is doing, no matter how small. That approval encourages them to continue to work hard.
Step 1: Show your approval
When your child has struggled in school or with doing their homework, it can be frustrating to find approval or show praise. Children can feel even more discouraged when they don’t do well thinking they’ve disappointed you. Showing your approval allows them to see that you are proud of them for what they did do. If they don’t do so well on a test, find a positive about their efforts, show empathy and then encourage them to do better next time Parents have so much influence on a child’s progress at school, so it is wise to be there for them and to let them know that you believe in them.
Step 2: Describe the positive behavior
Be specific with praise. For many, this is the hardest part of Effective Praise. Tell them how much you appreciate them doing their homework every night or asking the teacher for help. When you are specific, it allows them to understand why you’re proud of them and they will want to repeat that behavior in the future. Your child’s positive behavior will increase when you use Effective Praise. Believe in your kid’s abilities. Often our children just need a little encouragement to believe in themselves.
Step 3: Give a meaningful reason
Just giving praise isn’t enough. We need to give children a reason why they should continue the behavior. The reason should matter to your child. If the child does not want to do their homework, keep calm. Explain to them why doing their homework is important and what they will get out of it when they do their example. Depending on your child this could mean more time to play with friends, or money for completing that chore. When kids rebel and say they don’t care about doing their homework, realize that you can’t make him care. Do not punish, threaten, or nag. Instead, focus on what helps his behavior. Set parameters for schoolwork and your child will be free to make his own choices with the consequences that follow. Your child needs positive and meaningful guidance from you and that means teaching your child why it’s important to do it.
Step 4: Give them a reward (optional)
Rewards can be great motivators. Reward your child for both consistency and effort. This can be tracked through chore charts or reward jars. Some children will need daily motivation to do accomplish homework, while other children will be ok with weekly or monthly rewards. If the child has been consistent in doing their homework, you could give them a treat or more screen time. If the child went far beyond what was required, you can give them a bigger reward. You can make a reward jar from which your child can choose a reward when they finish their homework. It could include time with parents, a small toy, or not having to do one of their chores. Children do not need to be rewarded for everything they are doing as eventually those rewards will become less motivating to your child.
It may be hard for you to change the way you handle homework or grades. If you practice the steps of Effective Praise, you will have more harmony in your home and the children will feel better about themselves. This will lead them to do their best.