How to Raise Well-Rounded Achievers Without Being a Helicopter Mama


For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been seeing a lot of Facebook friends posting graduation and recognition photos of their children/nephews/nieces/grandchildren.

I posted one myself of me and my daughter Nini, who was awarded second honorable mention and was named Most Cheerful/Most Gentle in her first-grade class (so proud of her!). One of my Facebook friends, whose daughter took home tons of academic and extra-curricular awards after her high school graduation (and is an incoming freshman at the University of the Philippines to boot), caught my attention. I wondered, “How do you raise an achiever?”

When we say an achiever, we are not talking so much about the honors and awards as much as about encouraging our children to the best they can be; honing their full potential. I found a couple of old online articles from Inquirer Lifestyle on what it takes to raise an achiever and picked up a few tips. I’m sharing them with you now while we have time to mentally prepare ourselves and our kids before school starts again:

1. Unrelenting support for all your child’s activities.

Kids who see that their parents are behind them in all their academic and extra-curricular endeavors in school are more likely to feel encouraged to strive for excellence. Be supportive but avoid being too demanding.

Tempting as it may be, it is not for us to decide on what career path they should be choosing as well. The most important thing is for our children to know that we are behind them every step of the way.

2. Positive parental presence.

We all know this is easier said and done. Work often gets in the way so we parents tend to leave our children to the care of tutors, relatives, or their friends.

I am guilty of this myself, especially this year when my daughter had to spend weekdays with my in-laws because their house is nearer her school. But going over homework with your child every day, being present in school programs, taking every opportunity to be physically present when you are needed, motivates them to do better every time – but it takes commitment too.

 3. Consistency.

You do not raise an achiever overnight. Support, presence, and discipline must be consistent, especially as your child grows older and he/she starts to face even greater responsibilities.

It takes years of waking up before  daybreak, preparing lunchboxes, reviewing for exams, and so on to keep them right on track – and that’s the truth. Parenting is a full-time job and unfortunately, there is no instant formula but only hard work and consistency.

4. Be firm in developing good study habits.

Learning starts in school but it does not end there. Teaching kids to develop good study habits will instill in them a love for learning and know the value of knowledge and education, lessons they will carry with them until they become adults.

This generation is gifted with advanced tools and resources to aid in their learning but our job is to keep them interested, as well as disciplined. If you spend little time at home, it will be a lot more challenging to monitor your child’s progress and thus, needs more effort on your part. Remember that success is attributed more on effort than on ability.

Some things parents could try to do to develop good study habits, including creating a suitable studying environment that is free from distractions, invest in reference materials, or limit TV viewing privileges.

Homework should always be a priority. Never do the work for the children but equip them well so they could face challenges on their own. Do not hesitate to impose disciplinary measures if your kids fail to fulfill their responsibilities. If it works for you, you may also impose a rewards system for achievements. A simple compliment goes a long way.

5. Observe and listen.

Each child has his/her own weaknesses. Take time to ask them how they are doing in school and try to really listen. Point them to the right direction when they need guidance. Be attentive to their needs and they will learn to trust you, fueling their desire to make you proud. Comfort them when they make mistakes and encourage them to try harder next time. Harbor a genuine interest in their lives and steadily build a strong bond with them that cannot be broken simply by a failed Math exam or a lost game.

6. Give unconditional love and acceptance.

Each child is unique and intelligence comes in many forms. Comparing your children against each other is a bad habit; avoid it. Nourish each child individually and accept him/her no matter what.

Be thankful to God that you are entrusted with such a wonderful being for you to mold into a smart and responsible member of the society. Your determination to keep loving and accepting may be tested at some point, but as parents, we persist and never give up. In due time, we shall reap the rewards.


Source: Mom Notes


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