“We Are The Champions, My Friends!”

Let’s play a game together.

No cheating, please-I think you know the answers!

1. Table R1 of the Program for International Student Assessment lists countries by the scores of 15-year-old students on the PISA reading literacy scale, 2015.

Which country finished 24th?

Answer: USA

2. Table M1 of the Program for International Student Assessment lists countries by the scores of 15-year-old students on the PISA mathematical literacy scale, 2015.

Which country finished 40th?

Answer? USA

We could go back and forth discussing these scores, but in the end, the statistics tell their own story.

Our children’s schools ( with some exceptions) are advancing mediocrity, and our children will suffer as a result.

What can and should you do as a parent to ensure your child is having success at an optimum level?

Understanding Your Parenting Type

parentingThe first thing you need to do is to understand the parenting type to which you belong. At Confident Parenting, we distinguish between ten different parenting types, containing parents with very different world views. On a continuum, these types go all the way from the Permissive Parent to the Narcissistic and Helicopter parenting types. In between, there are numerous healthy parenting types with which most people can identify.

Secondly, we urge you not to blindly trust your child’s school. A school is, generally, a wonderful place containing great, caring professionals. However, there are so many stakeholders in both public and private education today, and so many constituencies from the federal government down to the single parent, that your child can easily get lost in the shuffle. Too often, by the time a parent finds out about that D- in science or about the incident that happened in the playground, it is often too late to do anything. The bureaucratic wheels have already started churning, and it is never a pretty process.

Parents must become their child’s advocate-if you do not advocate for them, who will? And yet, too many parents blindly leave it to their school to ensure their child’s success, and too often, the school falls short. Do not allow this to happen to your child- ask the necessary questions and do not be afraid to gently and politely push when needed.

This is a delicate road to hoe because school personnel are daily abused by parents and are wary of their criticism-you do not wish to be seen as unreasonable. However, schools and teachers can be wrong, too, and too often when this happens, they close ranks and fall back on bureaucracy and policies.

Do you have a long-term plan for your child that creates reasonable expectations while providing them with the room to stumble, fail, and get back up again? Too many parents fear failure, and they do not provide their children with the room to grow independently, while at the same time, they fail to provide their children with the developmental structures that they need for success.

So what should a plan look like?

planThe plan begins with you having a global understanding of your child. It starts by creating a profile of who your child is as a student, and the strengths and challenges he/she may face in education.

With this in place, you can then begin to understand how those strengths and challenges are translating into school performance. Accepting mediocrity should not be acceptable for your child or the school, however; understanding that success looks different for every child is important, also.

The second part of the profile is to understand your child as a person-strengths and challenges; introvert or extrovert? Leader or follower? And so on. This is an area of your child’s development that will be almost totally ignored by teachers and their curriculums. If you wish for a balanced individual down the road, you cannot afford to ignore his/her social and emotional development.

The third part of the profile is created by ensuring that your child has continuing opportunities to grow through various academic, social, and physical experiences. To focus your child on just baseball, as an example, while ignoring the arts, nature, expeditionary learning, and so on, is a mistake. A wide range of experiences is desirable to ensure your child grows beyond the cookie-cutter.

So, with a full profile in place, and with a strong understanding of how your parenting type works best in supporting your child, success is possible.

At Confident Parenting, we know how to help you put your child on that road to lifelong success and happiness. We are here for you. Please get in contact.