Mon | May 28, 2018

Academic excellence through DISCerning parenting

Published:Sunday | May 6, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Trevor Smith

"Education opens doors to a range of opportunities."

"Getting into the right school is the passport to a successful career."

These thoughts place immense pressure on parents.

We all want the best for our children.

The path to the achievement of academic excellence varies among children.

Our DISCerning Parenting solution provides some guidance for four core behavioural styles. (Access a quick reference guide to identifying and relating to the different styles here: https://tinyurl.com/DISCerning ParentingGuide)

 

D-STYLE STUDENTS (Outgoing, task-oriented)

 

I. MAKE USE OF THE INNATE DESIRE TO WIN

Draw examples from interviews with successful stars in sports, business, science and other fields that emphasise that their stardom was the result of consistent hard work.

II. HELP SHAPE A VISION OF THE FUTURE

Spend time together painting a vision of the future that sparks their interest and can sustain their commitment. Keep their eyes focused on the destination.

III. INJECT THE ELEMENT OF COMPETITION

Comparison is a no-no in my book. However, there is great value in setting up challenges in respect of their grades. Children are not equally gifted, so there is no guarantee that your child is going to top the class.

You can nevertheless challenge then to improve on their last grade. Set up a schedule of grades and linked rewards. Hit the mark and reap the rewards.

A feature of D-Style behaviour is their responsiveness to challenges and incentives.

 

I-STYLE (Outgoing, people-oriented)

 

I. ADJUST STUDY REGIME

The most important factor in guiding I-Style students to success is to appreciate the differences in their approach and to make the necessary adjustments.

Instead of constantly berating them about focus, take the time to design timetables and study routines that embrace variety.

For example, you might interweave completion of some of the maths problems with social studies and then circle back to the remainder of the maths. Sure, it is more structured to complete one set of homework. However, when you relate to the I-Style you should place greater emphasis on variety and short bursts than on structure.

You can extend this interweaving principle to include other activities. Homework, eating, homework, bathing, chore, homework, break, homework.

II. MONITOR

Don't take anything for granted. Check carefully to ensure that what needs to be done is in fact completed. This can be done even if you don't understand the concepts. Ask them to explain what was required and to demonstrate what they have done. In the process, there may be a realisation that they missed something.

III. MAKE IT ENJOYABLE

Let study and homework be an enjoyable time. Putting them under pressure is not helpful and might dampen their enthusiasm for academic activities. Inject fun and watch the difference!

IV. EMBRACE THEIR CREATIVITY

Take great care not to suppress their creativity. Seek out opportunities to expose it and to let it flourish. With today's media landscape and disruptive business practices, you definitely want to encourage out-of-the-box thinking.

 

S-STYLE (Reserved, people-oriented)

 

I. EMPATHISE

The key is to be there. Be genuinely engaged in a recap of the day's activity. Be sensitive to pick up potential areas of concern. Share the frustrations and doubts as well as the victories. Be the trusted friend rather than overzealous parent.

II. PROVIDE REPRESENTATION

This might be awkward at first but, especially in the early years, you might need to interact with teachers to ensure that there are no gaps in their learning and development.

An S-Style student might be too shy to ask questions even when they have not fully understood a concept. There may also be social challenges that have not been shared with you. Your presence will provide the assurance that they will not have to face this frightful journey on their own.

 

C-STYLE (Reserved, task-oriented)

 

I. PREPARE THE ENVIRONMENT

Take care to create a time and space in which they can work without a lot of noise and distractions. You might even consider adjusting their sleep time so that they study and do homework when the household is asleep.

Helping them to develop the ability to shut out distractions is also useful.

II. LAY OUT A DETAILED PLAN

Help to develop a structured plan and timetable that will produce the desired results.

III. RESEARCH

C-Style students want to get below the surface.

"Can you catch a centipede so that we can count if it really has 100 legs?"

Get in the habit of jointly researching answers to the questions that they ask. Encourage their interest in information. Add depth and background information to what is provided in the texts and/or by the teacher.

 

BOTTOM LINE

 

Achieving excellence in any sphere requires consistent dedication and effort. Parents need to sign up for full partnership in this endeavour. A poor academic record is by no means a deterrent. Get engaged!

Get further insights on DISCerning Parenting here:

https://parenting.successwithpeople.org/abc

 

Action

 

Access the free webinar series on leader/coach development here: https://leadercoach.successwith people.org/pav1.

Complete your enrolment for the Certified Behavioural Coach programme now: http://www.success withpeople.org/cbc. The next cohort starts on May 24. Preview the membership community with over 44 hours of training for just $1.

The Breakthrough Leader Certification And Mentoring Programme is open for participation. Find answers to developing future-ready, change, inducing environments while effectively executing plans.

http://successwithpeople.org/breakthroughleader