Good Beginnings 13: Parents Go to Class to Learn How to Nurture Children's School Success
Graciela Gomez says her 5-year-old son, Timothy, is compassionate, smart, and friendly—and she tries to nurture his self-esteem daily so he will be ready to succeed in kindergarten next month.
Gomez and two dozen other parents in LAUSD's Queen Anne Place Ready for School Center in West LA are learning how by improving their own parenting skills, setting realistic expectations, and reinforcing positive behavior, they can increase their preschoolers' chances for academic success.
Part of this week's "Good Beginnings" talk about children's early learning, health, and safety.
"We emphasize that parents are their children's first and best teachers," said Deborah Johnson Hayes, an LAUSD early mental health coordinator. "If parents feel good about their ability to help their children learn, the children are likely to have more confidence about their own ability to succeed, so it all starts with the parents."
Tips for Building Early Self-Esteem
1. Help your child feel special and appreciated. Focus on strengths rather than weaknesses and set aside special time each week alone with each of your children.
2. Help your child to develop problem-solving and decision-making skills. For example, when your children have difficulty, ask them to think about a couple of ways of resolving the situation and use role playing to demonstrate possible outcomes.
3. Be empathetic, not critical. Instead of saying, "Why don't you listen to me?" or "Why don't you use your brain?", let children know you understand they're having difficulty and problem-solve together to find an alternate approach.
4. Provide opportunities for children to help. By allowing them to display their competence in simple ways like setting the table or putting away toys, we give children a chance to demonstrate their worth.
5. Be consistent in reinforcing positive behavior. Provide regular praise for specific actions, such as "I really like the way you shared your toy with your baby sister," to encourage good behavior.
Related Topics: Ready for School
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