Make your children realize that how they study is important. Show them some examples. Bring your children to a person who is study-conscious, and have your children ask why they study so much. Tell them about the days of your childhood at school and explain how challenging and fun it was to study.
Start young. As soon as your child starts any type of schooling, start showing them how to balance their time. Teach them that school is a priority over things like games and TV, and get them into the habit of finishing their school work before anything else.
Teach consequences. Depending on where you live, your child’s school may not require students that fail a class to do any sort of make-up course. You can usually find some sort of summer school option, however, whether it is through the school or an external program. Your child probably won’t love the idea of summer classes—but this can be a great way to teach them that if they studied harder during the year, they would have more free time during the summer. Remedial courses may help your kids catch up the rest of their peers in the following year, ensuring that they don’t fall further behind.
Try not to force studying on your child. Over time, this may condition them to avoid studying at all costs. If you sit your child down at the kitchen table for three hours with a textbook and lock the door, chances are that they will refuse to do what you want them to do. If you pressure them constantly about the importance of studying and shout at them when they don’t, the child may begin to resent both studying itself and you as a figure of authority within the house. If you ask your child to study in a relaxed way and make them aware of the importance of studying, the outcome could be different.
- “You should probably go study” sounds a lot better to your child than “Go study right now”, and they may be more likely to think, “Maybe I should go study right now.”
Set a good example. Let your child see you working on something work-related. When your kid studies or completes a homework assignment, sit with them and work on something that you need to do. Set an hour aside each night for study— this includes you!
Take breaks. Balance out rigorous studying with unstructured play time. Make sure that your children take short breaks to decompress in the midst of a study session, or else they may get too stressed—which can negatively impact their health, their social life, and their academic performance. Studying for over 20 minutes at a time can lead young children to lose focus, so 20 minutes of rest for every 20 minutes of study may help your child memorize what they’re reading.
- Don’t make your kids sit at the computer all day. Make sure their eyes are properly rested, and make sure that they get plenty of time outside.
- If you force your children to work for longer than they are able to focus, they may not get as much out of their study—and they may develop negative associations with the whole act of studying.
- It’s important to balance leisure time with study time, so make sure your kids get time to play. In addition, physical activity can actually encourage optimum studying.
Look at your child’s friend group. If your child’s friends aren’t very into school and studying, there’s a good chance that their habits and behavior are influencing your child’s attitude. Consider whether it is your place or your responsibility to interfere with your child’s social life. If the problem continues, you might consider speaking with your child, speaking with the parents of their friends, or limiting your child’s time with certain friends. Ultimately, short of changing schools, there may be few invasive ways to change your child’s social life.