Counselor's Corner at CES

Lend your Listening Ear

As we move into the holiday season, families spend increased time together. This is an opportune time to work on improving parent/child communication. Open and effective communication will help parents to understand their children better, but also help trust between kids and parents. With the busy lives we lead, it can be challenging to find the time to truly listen. Here are some tips to help!

1. Focus and listen to your child-It can be easy to passively listen-nod and say yes, rather than to actively listen to your child. To effectively listen, one should be away from other distractions. While that Is not always, possible, make an effort to find time to do this.

2. Understand the content and the feelings-Try to understand what happened and the “this is how it made me feel” that your child is communicating

3. Acknowledge your child’s emotional reaction by saying things like “that sounds frustration” or “I bet that hurt your feelings”.

4. Respect your child as the authority in their own life experience.

5. Share with your child about your own fears, frustrations, and concerns. This leads to a relationship that is open to discussing challenges.

Motivating your Child

Helping your child to feel motivated about school can be a challenge. At times, we can feel at a loss to help them get started on projects, finish homework, or want to go to school. Here are some helpful tips.

  • Success is the greatest motivator. Recognize, reinforce, and celebrate the child’s successes and progress – even the small victories.
  • Reinforce the child for small gains in a difficult subject area.
  • When reviewing a test or report card with a child, always comment first on the positive aspects.
  • Help children set realistic goals for their academic, social, and athletic performances. Use these goals to monitor and assess their progress.
  • Speak positively about the child’s school and teachers. If the child senses a parent’s hostility toward the school, it is unlikely that the child will succeed there.
  • Be certain that the child gets sufficient rest and sleep. Children need 9-10 hours.
  • Help your child with organizational, time management, and scheduling skills
  • Avoid comparing the child to her siblings. This practice merely builds resentment and anger, not motivation.
  • Consistently demonstrate how much you value learning by supporting the policies and practices of your child’s school.
  • Show faith in your child and in her ability to learn.
You can make a difference!