Celebrating Past Successes and Future Possibilities
The school year has reached its halfway mark, and children will soon be at home spending time with family and friends during the winter break. During the holiday season, we recommend spending some time reflecting on the past several months your child has spent in the classroom. Focus on both the successes and challenges and how to prepare for the months ahead and to stay on track.
Recognize Your Child’s Achievements Your child has worked hard all year, and it is important that you recognize his or her achievement. Let your child know how proud you are of his or her dedication and commitment. Sit down with your young one and reveal exactly what you have noticed throughout the last several months. If your child has grown in any particular area, call attention to this in a very clear way. You can begin by sharing, “I want you to know that I have watched you grow throughout this year, and I am very impressed with how well you’re reading chapter books. We’re all proud of you.” There truly is no greater gift than praise from a parent, and your child will appreciate the thoughtfulness of your compliments.
Identify Challenges Many children will come home with report cards on or before the holiday months, so take a close look at the grades. Scores may reveal subject areas that may need some more attention when school resumes. Success does not come without challenges; oftentimes they go hand in hand. When old challenges are overcome, new ones will surface to replace them. It is important to pinpoint these and to always be cognizant of potential trouble areas. Doing this will ensure that that you and your child can face them head on, together – as soon as they become apparent. Also, remember that despite less-than-stellar grades or reports, posting a report card in a prominent place in the home will keep the identified challenge top-of-mind. This is good for you and your child, because it enables you both to keep an eye on areas of improvement as well as praise areas of excellence.
Reward Accomplishments By the time the winter break rolls around, your child will have put in some significant hours of study time. As a result, a few rewards are certainly in order. It is likely that you and your child have already discussed some kind of reward for good behavior or for good grades. If you have been holding back on giving out the prize until the holidays, now is a good time to remind your child that meeting his or her fullest potential in the classroom is something that you value, and as a result, you are excited to reward the hard work and long hours cracking the books. Always be true to your word. If your child followed through on his or her end, be sure to carry through with the reward. This is a nice way to demonstrate to your child that education has rewards in the classroom and in life. Doing this will keep your child enthusiastic when classroom assignments get tougher or a little humdrum. Incorporating reward systems into your holiday traditions tangibly demonstrates to your child that education is something your family values.