Education and Your Child: What You Can Do

Every parent wants to help their child succeed. That includes succeeding at school although sometimes it can be hard to figure out exactly what your child needs to achieve that. Part of getting to the bottom of that depends on knowing your individual child, but there are a few general things all parents can do to help their kids get the most out of education.


Financial Matters

College is expensive, and it’s never too early to start saving. Even if you aren’t sure whether your child will attend college, the money you save could always go toward other types of education, including for private schools, or training. Options include Educational Savings Account or a 529 plan although there are advantages and disadvantages to both. College tuition is high enough that it’s likely that even savings will only offset only some of those costs, so you could always plan to take out a low-rate Private Parent Loan. You may be able to get a better rate than your child could on a private student loan, and it could also allow your child to graduate debt free without the financial burden.


Communicate with Teachers

A good rapport with your child’s teachers is one of the best ways to get ready for a new school year and stay on top of how they’re doing in class and what they might need help with. One way in which this can be particularly valuable for parents is that kids sometimes behave very differently in the classroom than they do at home. You might be surprised to learn that your 8-year-old who argues with you every time you ask them to pick up their toys is a model student when in class. Teachers can point toward any areas where your child might need some extra support as well as reassure about some areas of concern.


Support Without Enabling

It’s natural that when your kid is younger, they may need help with things like making sure their homework is complete and that they don’t forget anything they need for school, and it can always be helpful if you’re on hand to explain a concept that they might be struggling with. However, it’s also important that you support your kid while making it clear that they need to do their own work. They also need to face the consequences of failing to do that work. These are proportional and developmentally appropriate consequences. Of course, if your child is really struggling with some aspect of their schoolwork, you can look to tutoring or other extra help from the school.


Help Them Problem Solve

Another way to give your child guidance and support while also encouraging their independence is by acting in a kind of coaching capacity to work with them on problem solving. There are times when you might need to step in because they’re in over their head, but in ordinary school-related challenges or conflicts, help them come up with a plan to try to address the issue on their own. Over the long run, this will empower them and build their confidence.