Think back to many of your successes, whether it be in exams, in your fitness goals, or in interviews and ask yourself did they happen by magic or by leaving things to chance? I will take a guess that it was when you took the time to plan ahead and prepare and when you consistently followed a routine and structure. Preparation, structure and daily routines are the key for your family academically and emotionally and it is the decisions that your make today that will decide the successes your child and family have in the future.
1. Family and One-to-One Time:
Family and one to one time is the most valuable time you will ever have with your children. It’s the time where you get to be in the moment and give to your children your undivided focus. It is a time where you play, chat and laugh with your child and nurture a bond and deposit memories that will stay with you and your child forever. It is this regular emotional deposit that will come in useful for when you are supporting your children through tough or stressful times.
• Schedule a time every day for family time. Treat it as one of the most important parts of your day. Whether it be 30 minutes or an hour, as long as it is focused it will be valuable in your relationship between you and your child. Ask your children what they would like to do during this time.
• Use your family time to get to know more about your children’s interests. Join in with things they like and share their passions. Over time this will bring a connection. If your child likes football and you don’t spend time learning about their passions (the players, the stats) so that you can engage with them. Even if they don’t say it they will be impressed and a deeper connection will form.
• Put your phone and email away and look into the eyes of your child when speaking to them. Show them that for 30-60 minutes you are there for them and it is the most valuable ‘meeting’ of the day.
2. Study Time:
The main issue that we face as family coaches center around the child/parent battle around homework. The word choice ‘homework’ is half the problem. For that reason when we are supporting structure and consequences for a family we don’t call it homework as the children will often tell their parent they do not have any and then they get out of routine and structure. By calling it study time you are setting the expectation that every day, whether there is homework or not there will be an expectation that they will do some structured work (homework, revision, reading) every day before they get their ‘fun’ time. It is this daily routine deposit that will give them the best chance of success in their exams several months down the line.
• Timetable in at least 30-60 minutes focused study time every week day and make sure it is to be done in a central quiet area of the house (not the bedroom) where you can make sure there is limited distractions.
• Try to make study time straight as close to the time the child gets home from school. This is important as you can then use their free time as part of consequences after study time.
• Remember that you are not there to force your child to study. You are setting up a clear structure and expectations that they sit in a quiet area with the books and tools they need to study. It is this part that you hold them accountable. The teacher can hold them accountable for their quality of work and their grades.
• Use a stopwatch as the parent voice. The amount of time it takes your child to sit down for study is taken off their free time as a natural consequence.
Here are three things that I want you to remember when you get tempted to take the easy option and not plan or structure your families day.
1. Things that are not scheduled tend never to happen!
2. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
3. Consistency breeds success
Your children are not going to do put in a structure at home automatically. It is your responsibility to give them the platform to make the right choices in their life. You have control over whether you create the best environment and chance for their academic success and the best support structure for a happier family life. Is it worth leaving success to chance or today making a stand for what you know will make the difference longer term?
Please click here to see how some of our parents and children have benefitted from the structure and support they have got from their coaching sessions with our friendly and knowledgeable UAE Coaching team.
When you simplify your family life, place a structure around consistent rituals and priorities and set clear expectations, you are building in the daily deposits that will ensure your children have the best possible head start in life and that your family will bond will deepen. Try these two strategies this consistently this month and let us know how you and your family benefited