Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

Tips for better parenting

Four Secrets of School Success

Schools tell us that four factors are crucial for school success:
   • A child needs to have about ten or more hours of regular sleep.
   • They need to have good nutrition, especially in the mornings before coming to school.
   • They need to be using 6,000 words for thinking and reading before reaching the first grade.
   • And they need social skills: the ability to have positive relationships with their peers and teachers.

In last week’s column we discussed regular bedtimes and good nutrition, and we have discussed gaining vocabulary through conversation as well. Now let’s focus on social skills. Social skills have been found to be more important than general intelligence for school success. This may be because:
   • Social skills are complex and develop the brain.
   • Good relationships make learning easier.

Developing good social skills in our children has some elements that may surprise caregivers:
   • Punishment doesn’t work except for the moment.
   • Reciting the rules doesn’t work if they aren’t understood.
   • Patience is necessary as rules are forgotten easily at first.
   • Having a gentle conversation about the problems of broken rules develops not just good behaviors, but also an understanding of consequences.
   • When a child discovers their own rules as a result of understanding consequences, they usually follow them consistently.

Teaching children how to be successful in life may include a need to improve our parenting skills, but seeing successful children is a great reward.

Jack Wright is a Mental Health Consultant working with Early Childhood Services. Contact:

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