Ways to raise a smarter kid are more abundant than you may think. Doing hands on parenting on a daily basis tunes us in to some of these on a daily basis. It’s a matter of being able to call upon these ideas when the opportunities present themselves throughout our busy day. The September 2011 issue of Parenting School Years included an informative article straight from the US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan on this topic, complete with some practical ideas for parents to implement at a moment’s notice when the opportunities to do so present themselves.
As parents we need to be aware of how much screen time is part of our kid’s lives. Too much technology can bring on too much passiveness in our child due to the consistent distraction from video games, TV, and computer activity. Stressed and busy parents may find it too easy to direct their kids to one of these tech options rather than other activities like reading, or perhaps art. Personally, I keep markers, crayons, paper and sketch pads handy for kids to become creative with when they’re facing boredom. As a parent, we need to direct kids to these options more often than allowing too much screen time.
The menu isn’t as important as the time spent together creating family unity and fellowship. Make a point of inquiring about your child’s activities and how their days are spent at school to keep yourself updated on the things currently happening in their lives. When kids know we’re consistently interested in what they’re doing, they’ll be motivated to stay engaged in doing well and making us proud. Kids want to please us and look for our positive praise. Family dinners help to promote these family characteristics.
Read as a Family
I began this back to the early days of having my family. I engaged in playing school with them and reading to the class (my kids) as the teacher. In this way I was able to create reading time as a family that was fun and that the kids were motivated to be engaged in. It was a fun family activity and one that my older kids kept doing for their younger sibs as time went on and more kids entered the picture. It’s great to see the Secretary of Education promoting it too!
Stay Involved at School
When kids know you’re involved in their school regularly it seems to keep them motivated for doing well consistently. They’ll come to know you’re a mom or dad that’s informed and keeps up on the events and activities that surround them on a daily basis. This will help them gain unity between themselves and you as a parent that’s in the loop and never far from what’s going on.
Parenting School Years, September 2011 issue