3. Get Involved
Communicate with Your Child
I can't communicate with my child! How do I do that?
Sometimes it can be very difficult to communicate with your children. To communicate with them regarding school work, stay involved in their academic life through high school--middle and high school years are often more difficult for students. Don't just wait for report cards--stay involved throughout the academic year. Make sure your children are writing down their assignments and completing them. Check for homework hotlines, a class syllabus, and daily planners to monitor your children's progress.
Outside of school, stay aware of your children's activities. Ask where your children are going, what they're doing, who they're doing it with, etc. and check up on them. While it's important to respect your children's privacy, it is also important to look for warning signs and communicate with your children if you suspect they're having trouble.
How do I identify warning signs?
Sudden or unexpected change in a child's behavior can signal potential problems. Talk to your children if you've noticed the following:
Be an advocate for your child and stay on top of your child's school needs. Otherwise, your child may get lost in the bureaucracy. Understand what is expected of your child and the important role standardized tests play in academic achievement.
It's important to have high, yet realistic, expectations for your children. If you have high expectations, your children will likely rise to meet them as best as possible. Having low expectations may cause your children to expect less of themselves. Set high goals.
Model respect for teachers and school. How well children get along in school depends largely on behaviors you model for them at home. Don't enable your child's inappropriate behaviors. It's very important for them to learn the consequences of their actions.
©2003 Regents of the University of California.