Tips to help set your child up for a successful year. Picture: Creative Commons

It’s the start of the school year and as parents we all want our children to excel in everything they do, especially at school.

However, with parents and children juggling several tasks and activities between at home, school and work, it's easy to lose track of child's progress.

Dr Nadia Loewke, a medical doctor with a special interest in mental health, has a few tips to help parents set their children up for a successful school year. 

Loewke says these scientifically proven tips may come as a surprise to many.

Six ways to set your child up for success: 

  • Practicing mindfulness can lower anxiety and allow marks to improve. Children can be taught Transcendental Meditation, regardless of background. It helps to close the gap between the affluent and the poor. The meditation allows the stress to dissipate, improves school attendance and health, and many other benefits. It only takes 15 minutes.
  • Decreasing the stress around homework. Parents have become 'teachers and homework monitors', and become hugely frustrated when they can't help with homework. There has been much attention regarding the issue of too much homework, taking up lots of time, and making the home less of a safe place than it should be. Too much homework should be addressed with the school, and for struggling children, extra lessons or tutoring may be helpful, Parents most often project maths anxiety onto their children by trying to help, ie, helping can make it worse, especially in maths.
  • Adequate sleep is vital in helping your child achieve their potential. It also has a beneficial effect on their behaviour.
  • Children of parents who develop a relationship with them do better academically than children who do not have such a relationship. This can be more complex for children of divorced parents, but a good bond can minimise the negative effects of divorce.
  • Parents should be 'authoritative' (directing the child rationally) rather than 'authoritarian' (controlling the child based on a standard of conduct). These children grow up with respect for authority, and don't feel strangled by it. Permissiveness (allowing the child free reign), is a very poor parenting style
  • One can teach their children to imagine, and commit, to a future they want to create. They become more resilient (grit) and tend to succeed more.