Five Steps to Creating a Successful Student

Creating a successful student is easier said than done. Many parents know the right things to do in order to create a successful student, but few put the advice into action, choosing instead to take the path of least resistance. While creating a successful student is not easy, it is well worth it in the end. The value of a good education, whatever the field, is truly priceless.

If you are able to implement even some of the following five tips on a regular basis with your child, then you are on your way to creating a successful student.

Step 1 – Turn off the Television

In general, children watch too much television. Parents and caretakers alike tend to use the television as a babysitter when they are too tired or too overwhelmed to deal with their children. However, if you want to create a successful student, then the television must be turned off at least during the school week.

Many of the television shows that are popular now have little to no redeeming or educational value; on the contrary, in many situation comedies deemed”family fare”, fathers/father figures are often the butt of jokes and subject to ridicule. In addition, some basic cable programs that claim to be family oriented often utilize mild profanity and adult situations for entertainment purposes. Even some of the cartoons that are marketed to children are simply strange. SpongeBob SquarePants, anyone?

Step 2 – Unplug the video games

Have you seen the cost of the popular video games? Many of these games cost $50-$60 a pop. The console itself can run to $300.00. Plus, how about the hours that children spend in front of the game, working their way from one level to another? It seems that these hours could be better spent studying, doing homework and reading for pleasure rather than learning how to “kill” in 75 different ways. Too much time in front of these video games only leads to bloodshot eyes, over exercised thumbs and racing hearts from unspent adrenalin.

Step 3 – Increase Family Time

Some parents seem to have gotten too busy for the children in their care. These parents are busy doing their own “thing” while, their children are lacking in adult supervision and adult attention. Although parents may try to occupy their children by purchasing video game consoles, clothes, music and electronics, nothing can replace the attention and love of a parent or caregiver. These objects do nothing to increase the child’s aptitude nor do they lend themselves to creating a family.

Sitting down to a meal with your child, talking about their day and showing a real interest in who they are and what they are doing, goes a long way towards creating a true family unit and support system for the child. The family meal is important because this is where the children learn table manners, how to hold their end of a conversation, and simply that someone in the family cares about what they are doing on a day to day basis. This is how you create a successful student.

Step 4 – Increase Physical Activity

Granted, not everyone has the time to shuttle their child back and forth to sports practices and games. However, you can take the time to walk around the block or even up and down the stairs within your home. How about tossing the ball back and forth in the back yard, or tossing a soft foam ball in the house? Can’t go outside? How about some jumping jacks, sit ups or a pillow fight? Not only does physical activity get the blood moving – a way to work off some of that excess energy that children have – but it’s also a great time to talk. The distraction of the game helps the child (and the adult) break down barriers.

Step 5 – Increase exposure to positive role models

Let’s face it, sport/music stars and celebrities are featured prominently in our nation’s consciousness. Because they are almost forced down our throats through news reports, magazines and talk shows children begin to focus on them as role models rather than the hard working people in their daily life. The first role models, of course should be the parent or guardians. Beyond that, there are teachers, coaches, police officers, firefighters and other “ordinary Joes and Janes” who are a positive influence in the community around them. Further, there are figures in current events who are simply super, such as Mae Jemison, Dr. Ben Carson, Condoleezza Rice, Ronald Reagan, Michael Phelps and others. Reading their stories can be inspiring to a student.

The key to creating a successful student is to lessen outside distractions that have nothing to do with enrichment and increase activities and conversation that is constructive and uplifting. In this way, the student can learn how much education and enrichment can benefit him or her in the long run.

James Parkinson