They may look small, non-threatening and have faces of an angel but getting a child to maintain a study schedule is like wrestling a 3,000 pound rodeo bull!
After spending eight hours in school, the last thing a child wants to do is more study at home. It can wear one’s mind out shifting focus from one subject to another; re-orienting our comprehension from topics as diverse as History and Mathematics.
But that is how the educational system works and the only thing we can do about it is adapt. And as weary as your children can be, the last thing YOU should do is enable them. Life itself is a huge competitive arena. If they want to be the best they have to learn how to win competitions. And in school, competition is won and lost at the preparatory stages. Study time ensures your child is well-prepared to compete with the best in his school.
Here are five ways you can ensure your child is doing his study on time. These tips are provided by MarkitUp, the company providing online assessment reviews.
- Explain the context
The biggest challenge for parents is to get their child to commit and focus on study. It is difficult for children to dedicate time for study because it is daunting, tedious and not fun! At a young age, they are also afraid of failure; of disappointing their parents.
You should always make it a point to explain the context of study to your child. This means the long-term, overall benefits the child develops by adopting regular study habits. These benefits include:
- Organization and structure
- Less stress or pressure
- Greater confidence
- More positive outlook
Parents often frame the importance of study only as a means to pass a test or to get good grades. If you do that, the child will only study before a test and not bother to make study part of his regular routine.
- Get your child involved
Another mistake parents make is to assume the role of taskmaster or dictator. As children grow up, they become more connected with their emotions. If you adapt an antagonistic approach toward your child, he will rebel and fight back.
At a young age, show your child that you respect his ideas, opinions and you are mindful of his concerns. When planning the study schedule of your child, get him involved. You may present the time-table and agenda but invite him to express his opinions.
He may ask for a different time period only because he wants to have some say in it. If you feel his request will not undermine productivity, give it to him! Getting him involved in the planning process will make him accountable for his studies.
- Set a schedule
The key to getting your child to maintain good study habits is to build a routine. This means setting a schedule for study every day. To build a routine means constant repetition; the process has to be wired and ingrained in the child’s system. Here are tips on how to set the schedule:
- Be mindful of your child’s other activities; prioritize activities that are productive like sports
- Start from a realistic time-frame; do not grind them down from the get-go
- As mentioned earlier; solicit your child’s opinions on the schedule
As much as we all want our children to succeed in school, our goal is for the child to achieve study-life balance. Study should be a big part of their life but it is not everything. A schedule will help map out the amount of time a child can spend on study and other activities.
- Remove all distractions
As children grown up, more distractions enter their lives. From friends to gadgets to extra-curricular activities, study time ends up competing with everything else that is happening in the child’s life. This is the importance of setting the context; it gets the child to realize how study benefits his life in the long-term. It will be easier to get his to commit to the process.
Once study time begins make sure all WMD’s or “Weapons of Mass Distraction” are put away. The number one culprit here is The Gadget: smart phones, iPad and the iPhone. If a friend calls up tell him your son is studying and “you should probably be studying too!”
- Lead by example
The most effective way for your child to follow his study schedule is for you to lead by example. Let him know that even grown-ups prepare schedules to become more productive. If you have a desk calendar, organizer, white board or if you maintain your agenda in your smart phone, show this to your child and go through an itinerary in detail.
Then, get your child involved in setting your own work schedule for the next day or following work week. Share with him your thought process in building your own work schedule; why certain activities are more important than others and have to be prioritized and what could be achieved.
And it’s not just work! You can create a schedule on just about anything: exercise, cooking, day-to-day activities. Show your child that when managing life, it is better to follow a schedule. You spend less time thinking about what to do and more time getting things done.
It can be a challenge to get a child to follow a study schedule but it is not impossible. For the most part, it is all about getting him back on track. Even adults, yes including parents, can fall off the charted course. Guide him along the journey; eventually, he will find his way back.