8 Skills You’ve Learned In the Workforce That Will Help Your Child Succeed In School

8 Skills You’ve Learned In the Workforce that Will Help Your Child Succeed in School


By Martina Watson, LPC

The first time your child ever comes home with an unflattering grade in a subject, you may just brush it off or remit your child’s worries with affirmations that she will do better next time. However, if you begin to notice a steady stream of failing grades, a wave of panic, anxiety, and even depression might easily set in. This may be followed by feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt about your own abilities as a parent to help your child. While parents might believe that they lack the skills necessary to help their children succeed, this is far from the truth. Check out the following real-world skills that you’ve already learned in the workforce. They may be exactly what your child needs not only to master a subject, but also to become head of the class.

1. Establish Boundaries

  • When working on a team project, it’s important for everyone to understand their duties and roles to minimize chaos and confusion. Help your child learn how to distinguish between what their responsibilities are versus yours in getting good grades. Boundaries also extend to setting appropriate curfews and providing limitations in hours spent engaging in other activities like a part-time job.

2.  Identify Your Child’s Learning Style

  • Just like everyone within a department has different working styles, each child has a specific way that they learn which helps them absorb and process information. The four learning styles are auditory, visual, tactile, and kinesthetic. Through observing your child, asking their teacher, and soliciting your child’s input, you can not only identify their learning style but also help them develop tools for studying and comprehending material that will be unique to their way of learning information.

3. Make Attendance a Priority

  • Your employer expects for you to show up to work at least five days a week with a great attitude and a willingness to work. Adopt the same expectations for your child and make sure that they attend school every day. This will reduce the likelihood of them falling behind, becoming frustrated due to not understanding the material, and/or missing key elements of big concepts on tests.

4. Prioritize School Meetings

  • No matter how boring a staff meeting is, your supervisor still expects for you to attend and be fully engaged. Likewise, it’s important to be present at every parent-teacher conference and PTA meeting. School conferences and assemblies are often chocked full of information, which could help your child do better in school. If you have questions or suggestions to improve something, that is even better.

5. Support the Team 

  • If your child is engaged in school sports or extracurricular activities that boost their self-esteem or self-confidence, support that. Children who are active in community or school involvement develop better-coping skills and are more likely to reach out for help when they experience mental and emotional distress.

6. Check the Reports

  • Your employer keeps a detailed report of what contributes positively and negatively to their bottom line. This report also informs them of what is or isn’t helpful to their overall progression. More than likely your child receives a progress report every so often that details improvements and/or issues in each subject. Make sure to examine those at least once every two weeks to determine how you, your child, and their teacher can be more proactive and possibly stave off an overall failing grade.

7. Create Clear Rewards and Consequences

  • Everyone likes to be rewarded. Whether receiving a physical trinket, a promotion, or even verbal praise, people always work harder if they have something to look forward to in exchange for working hard. Your child is no different. Create a chart that delineates behaviors that you want to continue or increase as well as those behaviors or habits that you want to decrease or cease altogether. Make sure to follow through on both rewards and consequences to help your child make better decisions or maintain good habits.

8. Have Fun

  • What’s better than having thirty minutes to shoot the breeze or rest–having a whole day off to engage in leisure activities. If your child works hard, then reward them by letting them play just as hard. Take thirty minutes to engage in an activity that your child loves after school or in between having completed big assignments. By giving your child this free time, you’re helping your child learn one of the most important and delicate skills of all between life and work–balance.

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