• School Success Starts Early

    By Dr. Charles Fay

    In my work with kids and teachers over the years, I've witnessed the many benefits of healthy student–teacher relationships. Establishing a connection between your child and his or her teachers is key to success in school and throughout life.

    Regardless of a child's scholastic abilities, parents can show him or her how to get along with teachers. Before your kids start school, give them a powerful advantage over other children by teaching them the following practical, easy–to–learn skills:

    Tip 1: Smile and say "hello" to your teacher everyday.

    Kids who greet their teachers with a smile and a warm "hello" every morning usually have fewer problems with their teachers throughout the day. It is important, however, for parents to help their kids understand it is necessary to not overdo it. Try practicing with your child.

    Tip 2: Pay attention to your teacher. While your teacher is talking, look him or her in the eyes, smile, and nod.

    Love and Logic parents know that helping their child relate to teachers will increase the child's interest in what is being taught. One parent I know had a daughter who experienced difficulty paying attention in class. After the parent suggested looking at the teacher, smiling, and nodding, she became more engaged in her learning and was better prepared to ask questions about the lessons.

    Teachers enjoy working with children who are interested in learning. Students who are attentive and "encourage" their teachers during the lesson have an advantage over those who do not. In addition, these children will be more comfortable approaching a teacher with any concerns they may have.

    Tip 3: Raise your hand periodically to ask a question about the lesson.

    A child who asks questions shows the teacher he or she is paying attention to the lesson being taught.

    Tip 4: Say "please" and "thank you."

    It is important for parents to model good manners. At the Love and Logic Institute, we've found that children learn much more from our actions than from our words. What we say in front of our kids is more important than what we say to them. For example, when your child is nearby, you might say to your spouse, "I sure do appreciate all of your help today around the house. Thank you so much."

    Kids who use these skills in school will have an advantage over kids who do not. These skills also will carry over to the workforce, which will give children an advantage over others throughout their professional lives.

    One student I know suffered from significant learning problems. Many people thought he would not be successful in his professional life. Much to their surprise, however, he went on to have a wonderful career and did better than kids who were much "brighter," because his parents taught and reinforced good relationship skills over and over again.

    Don't wait! Start using these Love and Logic techniques and join the thousands of parents who are raising successful, responsible kids.