If you are like most parents, you are probably breathing a sigh of relief as the 6 week cohabitation with your 'desperate-to-be-independent' teenager draws to a close...
It's OK. You're not alone.
If your kids are anything like mine (or if you are a student yourself and still reading this!) then you are just as keen to start back and get some focus; to catch up with old friends you haven't seen much over the break, knock over that next year of education and get one more step closer to 'real-life'!
For any student who has had positive school experiences in the past - a new school year is inherently motivating.
A blank diary full of undiscovered possibilities and untapped potential!
The fact is, your child's motivation for education is at its peak right now!
Whilst other parents are out shopping, going overboard on the incredibly cheap back-to-school stationary, I have to say, my focus is elsewhere.
My parenting style (like my coaching) is intently focused on the question: "Where is the biggest strength?"
AND "How can I/we/they leverage this strength to get the maximum possible benefit?"
(Sure the stationary is important!)
But when I look at the possible strength opportunities right now and how can I help them get the biggest 'bang-for-their-buck' in terms of educational impact - PEAK MOTIVATION is lit up like a Las Vegas casino on my radar!
If together we can preserve the positivity and motivation she is experiencing right now, I KNOW that this is, by far, is the most powerful support that I can offer
AND the most likely to bring a sense of happiness and fulfilment
AND help her to perform at her best academically.
Worth some attention?
OK, you are probably saying; "Nice theory - how am I going to do it?"
I've put together a 10-step plan that you can use week by week, together with your child to bullet-proof their motivational tank.
Here's an outline:
The Stationary actually does matter - here's why
Establish a culture of mindfulness
Motivation Style - boost it
Love Language - boost it
Check in with teachers
Limit (or expose) social media flaws
Plan to celebrate
If you take even SOME of these steps, you are bound to make an impact on your child's motivation levels throughout the term - but also (more importantly) you are sending the message "I care" to your child - and that matters - a lot. Sometimes the 'I care about you' message gets lost in everyday living because they have heard all our best lines and seen all our best tricks.
The great thing about the 10 strategies above is that they are NEW - which means they will, at the very least, make your child sit up and pay attention.
One more thing.
I know there may be some parents who might read the list and give up straight away.
"I don't have time for this!" is the common catch-cry.
(Going to be blunt here)
I've got 5 kids. It's hard, but we try to find time for each one and time to spend with each other.
We don't always make it happen - there are seasons where life just gets crazy and seasons when work or time-out for ourselves or health take priority. That's OK.
You just need to decide, what matters most to you right now and take action.
Doing just one thing is better than doing no-thing.
(I guarantee that if you invest wisely in your kids now, you will SAVE yourself time, money and heartache down the road.)
Just have fun with it! :)
[NOTE: If your child is already anti-school on day 1, you have a problem.