With academics, some children are self-starters, the process runs like clockwork. For others, some paternal creativity may be needed to reduce stress, make academics more enjoyable, and help some actual learning take place. Remember, when it comes to learning, confrontational approaches set the stage for frustration, tears, and excruciating non-learning.
Always Be Calm & Make Learning Fun
Well-intentioned but overzealous fathers can make the grave mistake of giving grief to children who are struggling with schoolwork. It is crucial to remain calm, show grace, demonstrate praise for success, and nurture the self-confidence that’ll need to overcome. If we’re unable to make it fun, at least offer fun energy. Children who smile as they learn are more likely to enjoy success. If we desire a catastrophic non-learning experience, all we have to do is start yelling. Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.
Different Children Learn Differently
There are multiple types of intelligence; every child has their own individual strengths and weaknesses. Many times, the “box” of academia prohibits creative-types and more eccentric children from enjoying and displaying their unique talents. When we truly know our children and their strengths, we can better inspire learning by designing a supportive home study environment conducive to their interests, a special place where they are comfortable hunkering down and doing their best. Different children learn differently. With a child-centered approach, dad can offer the most appropriate support. The building blocks established during childhood will be the academic foundation kids rely on throughout their entire lives.
Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset
The human brain is malleable—with practice—we create new neural pathways that inevitably improve and strengthen over time. Repetition forces our brain to restructure itself as we develop new capabilities. By embracing this truth, and putting in the work, we can soon learn to do nearly anything. Unfortunately, some people limit themselves with a fixed mindset and avoid the inevitable discomfort experienced when entering new and unchartered territory. If we change the way we think, we can change the way we learn. Fathers can help children develop the habit of approaching schoolwork—and really everything—with a growth mindset. In the immortal words of Zig Ziglar, “If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”
Providing Academic Support
Get involved. If children say they can’t do the work, coach them to make the effort to do their best. Lead with fun energy. If we EVER feel like yelling, it’s best to fasten a proverbial deadbolt over our mouth to lock it shut. If they don’t understand something, encourage them to confidently ask for help. Ask teachers for ideas and possible resources; maybe the school offers a tutoring program or can recommend an academic coach. YouTube videos can help with things like math, science, and technology. If you have a friend or relative who specializes in the subject in which your child struggles, ask them for advice. If kids are off task, remind them that choices have consequences, and that they should choose wisely. Be steadfast in making them aware that we will always be there for them to help them succeed.
Fathers who value academics and infuse children with a good attitude towards schoolwork can be the champion for learning who changes the game for their child’s future. Establish a supportive home environment that inspires commitment to academic excellence. Embrace the nuances with the way different children learn. Always remember that performance isn’t nearly as important as process; enjoyable, stress-free learning drives results. With nurturing guidance, dad can discourage stagnation, make learning fun, and empower children to learn anything they set their mind to.
“How much better to get wisdom than gold, and good judgment than silver!”
—Proverbs 16:16 NLT
Packed with specific actions to take, experiments to run, and tools to analyze what works best for you, this practical guide will inspire, challenge, support, and empower you to become your very best.
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Fathers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.