Using New Year’s Resolutions to Help your Children become Better Students

New Year's

By Deanna Hurn, Executive Director of Miracle Math Coaching

New Year’s is less than two weeks away, and now is a great time to find new ways to help your kids when school starts.  You can help them excel if they’re already classroom stars.  Or you can help them wipe their academic slate clean if they’re facing challenges.   Either way, take advantage of the fresh start of a new year.

You’re probably developing resolutions for yourself.  And you’ll be glad to know that a University of Scranton study shows that people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t.

So how about helping your children develop resolutions to improve in school after the holidays?  They can resolve to get better grades, or be on time for every class, or study 10 minutes more a night.  But as we all know, generating the goals is the easy part.

The hard part is following through.  Here are some New Year’s resolution suggestions parents can relay to their sons and daughters:

  1. Set reasonable expectations.  Don’t expect instant success if you begin studying longer, getting after-school help from teachers or attending tutoring sessions.  It takes time.  If you begin to feel overwhelmed, narrow your resolutions to ONE.  And stick with it
  2. Ask a friend to help.  Share your resolution with a buddy, and have him or her promise to hold you accountable.  That could mean checking your progress weekly or by pledging the same resolution.  “Surround yourself with people who inspire you to be more, do more, and have more,” advises Life Coach Debi Silber.
  3. Don’t give up easily.  If you get discouraged or lose interest, don’t throw in the towel.  One way to get back on track is to set benchmarks.  Instead of setting a resolution of “I will study 15 minutes longer each day,”  set a more reasonable mini goal of studying 15 minutes a day four times during one month.  When you hit that monthly benchmark, treat yourself to a reward.
  4. Prepare yourself for setbacks.  If you miss a day an appointment with a teacher, don’t give up on the resolution.  Think of it as a bump in the road, not failure.  Continue on fulfilling your resolution.

These tips have helped me tremendously.  Like most parents, I wear a lot of hats; I’m a wife, mother of three, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, active member of my church and board member of a national non-profit.  The only way I stay sane is by setting goals, sticking with them and not beating myself up if I’m not perfect.

What are some of your New Year’s resolutions, and how are you able to stick with them?


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