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Strengthening Your Child’s Home Study skills (page 3)

By — Center for Effective Parenting
Updated on Jan 2, 2009

Praise Efforts

Praise Often. Parents should make a special effort to give their children frequent praise for the effort that they put into their studies and for using effective study skills. A general rule for using praise: do it often, do it immediately, and do it powerfully.
A powerful praise is one that is given in a warm tone of voice and includes a statement letting the child know what it is you are please with.

“I really like how you worked hard on your homework tonight! And you did it all by yourself! I am very proud of you!”

Be Positive and Encouraging. Your general approach with your child around studying should be positive. Avoid using criticism or punishment to try to get your child to study, these strategies will work against what you are trying to accomplish in the long run. You want your child to approach new challenges with confidence in his abilities, to have a feeling that he has control over his learning, and to be proud of his accomplishments. These goals are accomplished through being supportive and encouraging over time. When problems arise, your job should be to understand the problem and come up with solutions.

Frequent praise that is related directly to children’s effort and independence can produce in them positive emotions, confidence, and an increased sense of control over learning. When this happens, children are likely to independently put forth effort and persist at new learning challenges.

Tangible Rewards
Tangible rewards can be used to help motivate children who are having some difficulty with motivation to study. A convenient method to manage tangible rewards is the use of a behavior chart.

Setting Up a Behavior Chart

  • Define what behavior you would like to see. The behavior should be specific, clear, simple, and positively stated. For example, "Bringing home your assignments and books” or “Completing all your homework on time.”
  • Initially reward a reasonable goal. Do not set your expectations so high that your child cannot achieve the goal. The goal should represent an improvement, not perfection. If the goal is set too high, the child may give up before getting a chance to be rewarded. The goal can be gradually increased as the child begins to improve.
  • Make a chart by simply listing each day of the week and leaving room for marks, stickers, or stars to be placed under each day.
  • Create a "menu" of daily and weekly rewards. It also may be necessary to change the rewards frequently so that the child will keep interested.
  • Provide daily and weekly rewards for goals met. Be sure to consistently provide the promised rewards when your child achieves her daily and weekly goals.
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