Many parents employ a tutor to help their child with school work, but many parents don’t realise that with a few extra steps they can actually build additional confidence in their child. The scourge of physical bullying and psychological abuse experienced through social mediahas become an unfortunate part of going to school, andso finding ways to build self-esteem is critical.
The most dependable way to protect children is to build self-esteem. If a child is experiencing bullying in any form, then not being good at tasks only creates more anxiety in a child. Therefore, participating in activities that highlight improvement reduces feelings of inadequacy.
Often parents enroll children in sports, drama, music, art etc because of the self-interest of the child and because the skills and benefits attained are apparent. However, tutoring is often a parental concern-rather than a child’s personal interest so it is important that the tutoring is child centered. From sport to tutoring, all activities that demonstrate positive change, reinforce learning and involve praise are powerful confidence builders.
So how do we measure and harness the improvements?
- ‘Back to basics’:Always have a record of what a child’s skill level is prior to tutoring and keep a log of changes.
- Identify what specific areas need to be improved. It is important to break the subjects into parts, for example: for Mathematics it would be fractions, algebra, division etc, or for English it would be answering the question, sentence structure or grammar. Defining the parts offers insights for the student too, as as they may think they are ‘hopeless’ in that entire subject and that is often not the case.
- Reinforce tips the tutors have suggested in ways that the student can enjoy. So when a maths tutor suggests a fun way to apply division then be sure to create opportunities to use that as often as possible in real life. Or if an English tutor suggests enjoyable ways to answer questions use, remember to those in every day conversations.This practice of using what is learned in real life is application – an additional valuable skill!
- Praise the child for all improvements. As parents your praise is the greatest confidence booster there is. Whilst children may seem to value peer approval over parental endorsement, that is temporary. Peers are current bench marks in a child’s life but a parent’s praise is long lasting and perpetually sought. Moreover, it is the praise of parents that produces confident people.
- Ask the child for their feedback. It is important that the child sees improvement too. Whilst learning can be prescriptive -an outline of what to do -it should also be critical. Students need to challenge ideas, ask questions and be a part of their learning so they can enjoy it.
Building confidence in children is vital to healthy development. Making the tutoring experience fun and relevant to the child’s life ensures the child remains motivated and excited about the benefits they are enjoying. Whilst parents may be thinking of the child’s future the present is what counts for the child.
If you’re a parent who would like to know more about how you can make the most out of your child’s tutoring experience, or would simply like to know more, head over to our Home Tutors Sydney website and watch our free Parent Coaching Course, or give our office a call on 1300 654 746.