When you offer a heartfelt encouraging word as he or she leaves for school on a day that both of you know will be tough, when you touch your child's shoulder as you pass the homework table, you affirm your interest in your child and communicate assurance of his or her worth.
When is a chore an opportunity for guaranteed success? When you and your child work as partners. Projects with an obvious progression toward an end point or product (brightly painted shelves, a shiny clean car) can be particularly satisfying- a time to be proud together. As you discuss the project and divide up the work, your child feels valuable and valued. And, too, a positive work experience can help build self-confidence and responsibility.
Providing appropriate ways for your child to help out in difficult times can be especially meaningful. When a relative becomes seriously ill, help your child write a loving note. Don't be reluctant to ask for your child's ideas on ways to stretch the family budget; which coupons make sense for us to use, and how much can be saved? How does this utility bill compare to the last one? How can we reduce the next one? Let your child know that you appreciate the way he or she is able to apply skills learned in school to a real life setting.
You know the special feeling between people who've shared the experience of a good story. Whatever your child's age, read together. A "good" book is one you'll remember reading, one that brings pleasure to both of you.
Reading even a short piece that speaks to common interests-a vivid game description in a sports magazine, a silly limerick or a sad poem can bring the two of you closer together and underscore your child's sense of belonging and confidence.
Distributed from: The Learning Letter