1. Remember: God has specially chosen you as your child’s most important teacher.
You are their first and most important advocate in the school system they are in. You are capable of communicating vital information with those who will teach and interact with your child. You know your child the best.
2. Build a great relationship with your child.
Take the time to talk to your child regularly about what is happening in school. When you have an open line of communication, concerns, struggles and stress can be identified early. When an area of concern becomes known, you have a natural forum to begin to process it with your child. A great relationship takes BOTH quality and quantity time.
3. Become a student of your child.
Take a front row seat in the life of your child and learn about their personality, their learning style, how they deal with stress, their strengths, and their preferences.
4. Build good communication with your child’s teacher.
Do not wait to bring concerns to the teacher. Early intervention into learning issues is to your child’s advantage. There are many amazing teachers in the system, who are more than willing to partner with you in helping your child succeed. Excellent communication between home and the school can alleviate a lot of your child’s stress.
5. Listen to your instincts.
If you feel your child is struggling, gently but firmly pursue assistance for your child. (Remember, honey catches more flies than vinegar.)
6. Make sure your child understands and knows their strengths.
You continue to help your child build confidence and the ability to take risks when they are encouraged and supported in something they are good at. Consider things like team or individual sports, music, art, etc.
7. Build a network of people around you who can provide information, strategies, and support for you and your child.
It is amazing the connections you will make once you start asking questions and talking about your concerns. Many professional services are covered by extended health plans.
8. Pray, pray, and pray some more.
Pray that God will give you the necessary insight and wisdom to help your child succeed. Believe me, some days prayer was the only way I could hold it together. Pray that God will bring the right people into your child’s life.
9. Communicate regularly with your spouse.
It is critical that you are both on the same page when it comes to your child’s development. You both need to know what is working, and what is not.
10. Learn from your child.
Learn to see life from their perspective. Matthew has taught us how to look at the simplest of things and to be able to admire the color, the shape, or an interesting detail.