ICE 4 Life

Stuff for Parents

Here are just a few items I have found over the years which have helped me in supporting my own child and the children I care for and work with. You may find some useful or you may already be putting them into action.

Ways You Can Support Your Child In School

• Listen to your child reading for approximately 10 minutes each day.

• Help your child to check his/her school bag each day so they have all the equipment they need for lessons.

• Run a target reward scheme to help them achieve results at school.

• Praise on task behaviour and ignore safe irritating behaviour.

• Encourage school attendance.

• Provide quiet time and a place to complete homework and study.

• Help with researching topics by suggesting where they can look for it.

• Encourage your child to find something they enjoy reading, even a comic, to foster pleasure from reading.

• Spend a few minutes each evening to ask how their school day went.

• Encourage your child to make use of the Homework Club available through the school.

• Encourage your child to join activities and clubs outside of school. This can help promote independence and increase confidence.

• Encourage your child to keep a diary or journal. This helps with spelling and increases vocabulary use.

• If you have work or study to do, try to do this in a communal area in the home so you encourage by example the importance of carrying out tasks/homework.


Helping To Increase Your Child's Self-Esteem

  • Tell them on a regular basis that you love them.
  • Tell them that you are glad they are your child.
  • When asking them to do tasks around the home, give them an example to follow. Take the time to teach them the steps. It’s unfair to expect that they will know how to fold their clothes or make their bed if you haven’t shown them how to do it.
  • Set aside time to spend with them. Even if it is for a quick game of cards or to ask how their day went at school.
  • Look at them when you speak to them. This conveys respect.
  • Look at them when they speak to you. This conveys, What they are saying is important.
  • When they tell you about something that happened, ask how they feel about it. Listen to their answer.
  • When you ask a question, don’t interrupt when they are answering, disagree or criticize their answer. This teaches them that it isn’t safe to be candid and may make them edit what they tell you.
  • Give them a reasonable amount of responsibility. This promotes independence.
  • Say no when you need to. Kids need to know there are limits and they don’t always get what they want.
  • When you say no, explain why. When you say yes, explain why. This helps them understand the whys.
  • Set a positive example with your own behaviour. You can only expect them to behave with dignity and self-respect if they see you doing it.
  • When you lose your temper or make a mistake, apologise. Say that you are sorry, be specific about what you are sorry for, and give them a chance to respond.
  • Arrange activities for just the two of you. Ask them what they would like to do.
  • Give them a private space where they can express themselves and respect their privacy. Knock first before entering their room.
  • When you are giving feedback, describe specific behaviour. For example, “I like the way you tidied your room” or “You still need to pick up the towels off the floor.”
  • When there is a problem, focus on the issue, not the child. For example, “You could complete the last 2 questions and then it’s done” is more constructive than “You never finish anything.”
  • Let them make choices for planned meals out, days out or activities and then do it! This shows you respect their decision.
  • Ask them to go with you on errands just because you want to spend some time with them.
  • Give them a hug regularly. Even if you are late… a hug takes just a few seconds to show someone they are loved and cared for.
  • Look up and smile when they walk into the room.
  • Look for ways to maintain your own self-esteem. If you are unhappy, discontent, or disappointed in how your life is turning out, it will be difficult for you to help build your child’s self-esteem.
  • Every child needs to be the object of a parent’s undivided attention on a regular basis.
  • Be yourself. Tell the truth.
  • Be appropriate. You don’t have to say everything that is on your mind or tell them things they aren’t ready to know. It’s sometimes easy to treat them as your friend when you are lonely but remember; they are a child and as such need to be protected from some information until such time it is fair to share.
  • If you show that you accept yourself and your actions, you give permission to them to do the same.
  • If you are divorced or separated don’t swear or bad mouth the absent parent. Your child has a right to love both their parents just as you and your ‘x’ have a right to both love your child. Your child will thank you when they are older for having had the chance to grow up knowing both parents.

Children Learn What They Live

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.
If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and others.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place to live in.

Dorothy L Nolte (1954) The Torrence Herald.