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Achieving Academic Success Growing Together| Parent Seminar Nemours Night at the Academy January 29, 2014 Meghan Walls, PsyD Pediatric Psychologist Nemours duPont Pediatrics
Introduction + Outline • My background • What to expect tonight. • Short talk (about 20-30 minutes) with power point. • Focused on discussion points on flyer • Different types of learning styles. • What can help children to focus/organize. • How to partner with school and support academic success at home. • Studying tips • How to deal with behavior issues around studying/academics • Helicopter parenting • Group discussion • Open to questions/discussion amongst parents
Learning Styles • What are learning styles? • Many different theories on learning styles • For children, focus on learning modalities • How do they best intake information?
Visual Learners Remembers details/colors Remembers faces Spelling, proofreading are strengths Uses flow charts/graphs/lists Prefer visual/written tests Learn best by: Taking notes Reading info to be learned Seeing videos, print outs Difficulties: Working with a lot of noise/movement Listening to lectures without visual stimuli Working in classrooms with no decorations/boring colors
Auditory Learners Can think and speak on feet Notice sounds in environment Remembers names (but may forget faces) Verbalizes goals, stops to talk to self while learning Describes projects orally/ sings and recites words to remember Learns best by: Talking aloud Listening to lectures/teacher talking Discussing in a group Music in background while learning Difficulties: Reading very quickly/silent reading for prolonged periods Taking timed read & write tests
Kinesthetic Learners • Good at sports, dance • Running, jumping, leaping, rolling • Take action to solve problems • Prefer individual or small groups • Prefer trial and error learning Learns best by: • Learn by being shown/showing someone how to do something • Project work instead of test work • Performance based tests Difficulties • Handwriting • Sitting still/sticking with activities for extended time. • Spelling
Tactual Learners Natural at interpersonal skills Reading non verbal communication Fine motor activity Sensitive to environment (smells, temperature, etc) Following a solution that feels right Tests best with open book, low pressure, essay type tests Learns best by: Feeling comfortable with the teacher Progressing at own pace, reading for pleasure Rewriting notes taken in class Difficulties: Learning if feelings are hurt They cannot feel, touch, manipulate learning environment
How do we help our children focus and become organized? Focus and organization are somewhat inherent- meaning your kids may start out with different levels of focus and organization Tips Learn what style works for your child & encourage them to use it. You (and teachers) should set expectations Manage distractions Establish expectations Set a place (for homework or projects) Sit with your kids Praise for a job well done Taking breaks Setting a finish time Rewards if expectations are met
How can we improve children's’ study habits? • 1. Encourage paying attention in class. • 2. Set up a good clear space free of distraction • 3. Good notes lead to easier studying- ask a teacher if you don’t think yours are quite up to par • 3. Plan ahead • 4. Break it up • This can be breaking one project up into smaller assignments • Taking timed breaks when studying for spelling tests • 45 minutes is about the general attention span for kids. • 5. Ask for help if you don’t understand. • 6. Get your sleep
Parenting Children with Difficult Behavior • How does difficult behavior interfere with studying/academics. • Ways to tailor plans to children who struggle more with behavior. • ADHD or another diagnosed issue: IEP/504 plan • Behavior management • Reward systems • Setting expectations • Rewards should be meaningful • Rewarding frequently at first, then less often
Partnering for Success • Children need support from both school + parents • Works best if they know expectations are same on both sides. • When parents are appropriately involved, there are positive outcomes including • Higher grades • Higher standardized test scores • Greater social competence • Greater participation in out of school/after school programs
Effective Parent-School Communicaton • Get comfortable with your child’s school and teachers • Chat with the teachers when you aer at school • Join an activity/volunteer to become involved • Talk to other paernts who spend time with school • Be a partner with your child’s teacher • Good communication helps foster understanding of both environments • Helps your child understand they are held responsible both places • Communicate with teachers and school early • Try to communicate before any problems occur • Teachers are more open to parents when they touch base when something is going well. • Follow through • If you tell a teacher you will do something (check in with them, send a note), make sure to follow up.
When is enough involvement enough? Can parents help too much when it comes to school? Can overinvolvement or overprotection actually hurt your kids’ efforts? What does it mean to be a helicoper parent? Is it harmful?
Helicopter Parenting • Term used for “overparenting” or “hyperparenting” • Parent is helicoptering over their child. • When asking older adolescents and college students about the results of helicopter parenting, the following was found. • Helicopter parenting related to: • Increased prescriptions for anxiety/depression medications • Increased pain pill consumption • Decreased sense of well being
Parenting Behaviors that can be detrimental • Not letting kids take enough risks • Being afraid to let them play outside • Not letting them date someone who may hurt them • Can lead to fears and low self esteem. • Stepping in too soon • If I forget my homework, mom will definitely bring it to school • If I fail that test, my teacher will let me re-take it • Doesn’t show kids how the real world works and sets them up for failure later • Letting guilt lead the way • Trying to avoid feeling badly when our kids don’t get what they want • Kids don’t learn that success is dependent upon actions/behaviors • Giving in to avoid seeing your child upset
What should parents do instead? Allow children to attempt things even when they may fail. Allow failure and assist with problem solving to become successful, do not fix the problem for them. Discuss consequences ahead of time so that you avoid guilt and they understand outcomes. Talk over issues with your kids as they come up- whether it be forgetting to turn in a homework assignment or failing a test. Be supportive as they try new things; encourage outreach. Celebrate progress when they are successful.
How can parents help children cope with stress? • Reframe stressful situations • Consistent routines/schedules • Encourage participation in enjoyable activities • Help kids develop good problem solving skills • Learn to manage time • Teach kids to be assertive • Develop sense of humor • Get professional help if your children need it Help your child become aware of signs of stress Avoid overprotecting Build self esteem Be supportive and reassuring Open communication Model appropriate coping skills Teach kids how to handle criticism Proper nutrition Proper sleep
Discussion Discussion? Questions? Contact: Meghan Walls, Pediatric Psychologist Nemours duPont Pediatrics firstname.lastname@example.org