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Developing Positive Study Habit- Parents Role:

Updated on November 1, 2017
Odewoye Francis profile image

Odewoye,Graduate Electrical Engineering,Registered member, Engineering Council U.K,Registered member(COREN) Nigeria. Professional Engineer.


A good number of parents express serious concern about their children success while a few are indifferent. In either case, parents depend on a lot of the school for their children academic success. It is, however, important to note that a lot depends on them if their children will excel. For instance, a teacher who knows his work well will not be particular about any child in his/her class.

What makes the difference between one child and another depends a lot on a number of efforts put in by the parents’ vis-à-vis the type of homes the individual student comes from.

Research shows children do better in school and have more positive attitudes about it when their parents are involved in school life. Many parents become less involved with school activities as their children move from elementary to junior secondary school and on to senior secondary school.

Yet, this time in their child’s education is just as important for parental involvement as any other. During secondary school, teens’ responsibilities at school tend to increase. They have more homework, longer classes, more involved projects and presentations. This is an extremely important time to develop good study habits and parents can make a difference!

There are a number of ways you can encourage your child to develop good study habits and stay involved in your child’s education. One is not unaware of the fact that many parents claim to be too busy to look after their children’s study habit.
Indeed they are right as there is an increase in the number of working class parents.

This probably explains the reasons why many parents rush at any opportunity the school offer in terms of the extra or private lesson. Parents must exercise serious caution as some of these lessons may not all be productive.

What many of the students need is effective study habit. Having ensured that children attend good schools where the curriculum is adequately covered, all the parents and perhaps home lesson teacher need do is to ensure that the student study properly and not just mere reading.

Father and his son
Father and his son
Mother and her Children.
Mother and her Children.

1. The following guidelines may assist the efforts of parents in developing positive study habit:

1. Regular Time:
It is important for you to set up a regular study time for your child and to try and be strict about maintaining it. This will help your child establish a routine for studying, which is a key to good homework habits. Routines develop into good habits, and if you help your child stick to this routine, you will soon notice that he/she automatically uses that time as study time.

You could use an alarm clock, oven timer, etc. to remind when study time begins or ends. Also, if your child is often done with his/her schoolwork, try to make this a regular time to read together or work on basic skills like Mathematics.

2. Regular Place:

Having a regular place to study will also help you and your child establish a routine for good study habits. Probably the most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a study spot is to keep it away from distractions, like the television.

Another idea to consider is, although the bedroom can be a fine place for studying, it is probably best not to do it actually on the bed. Since the bed is a place for sleeping, doing homework there could interfere with your child’s sleeping routine. It is important to add that it is highly essential that your child has a table and a chair for his/her reading.

The table must be free from distracting materials such as photographs, mobile phones, games, irrelevant magazines etc.

3. Regular Procedure:

Establish a regular procedure for your child to follow during study time. An example is given below, but don’t be afraid to try your own ideas as well. Different schedules and practices work well with different students depending on their strengths, interests, age, etc.

Create a study time that works well for your individual child.
Create a study time that works well for your individual child.

2. Create a study time that works well for your individual child: Some guidelines and a sample plan are listed below.

Step 1: (10 minutes):

Do some things together with your child: read a book, do a puzzle, etc. If possible, allow him/her to choose the activity. Try some games he/she learned at school and don’t be afraid to make up games of your own. Enjoy this time together.

Step 2: (5 minutes):

If your student has a particular homework assignment to work on, begin by pre-reading the assignment and /or reading the directions.
Talk about what the main ideas of the homework seem to be, based on this pre-reading.

Guide the homework tasks with a series of simple direct questions such as:

i. What is the assignment?

ii. What is the problem to be worked out?

iii. How to figure out the answer?

iv. What do you have to do first?

v. Do you want me to listen (to reading)?

vi. Do you want me to read what you have written?

vii. Do you want me to check your knowledge (for example, in spelling)?

Step 3: (10-15 minutes):

Do the assignment, reading, etc. If your child has a difficult assignment, do the assignment together, using the above questions as a guide. If your child seems to have grasped the assignment and as a good idea of how to approach it, go ahead and let him/her do it alone.

To help develop independence, encourage your child to use some sort mark, like a question mark, to identify problem areas for you to go over together.

Step 4: (5 minutes):

Deborah Joy Braithwaite once opined: Getting a child into good eating habits during homework sessions is essential. Fast foods snack bars and carbonated drinks are full of taste enhancers, artificial colourings, caffeine, salt, saturated fats and refined sugars.

They do provide a quick burst of energy; however, it is a false energy boost and is quickly followed by lethargy. Children seem to be natural nibblers and like to eat small amounts of food often. Nibbling the right food every 90 minutes keeps the blood sugar high to energize the brain for thinking and learning.

During a study session, fill them up on fruit and raw vegetables (an apple or banana, the slice of cheese, handful of peanuts, carrots, or celery). Raw foods of any sorts increase the rate at which the brain cells use oxygen so that thinking and learning are easier and better.

There is an abundance of evidence in medicine, education and sport to show that drinking plenty of water is essential for optimal performance. The message is “if you don’t drink enough you can’t always think enough”.

Step 5: (10 minutes):

Review the completed assignment/reading with the child. Work on any problem areas, again asking questions that encourage him/her to find the answer on his/her own. For every mistake that you point out, try to point out two successes.

Help your child believe in his or her ability to succeed. When you praise work completed successfully, you are showing your child that he or she can do well in school. Success builds confidence.

This can be achieved in many ways, for example, if you write a word such as when and your child reads it as what, don’t say “wrong”. Instead, say the word aloud and ask your child to repeat it after you. After the word is repeated, praise your child and move on.

Talk about how the assignment/reading/activity, etc. went that night. Note things the child had success with and areas that are still a problem. It may be helpful for the two of you to keep a journal noting what you discuss each night and comparing this to similar assignments in the future.

Finally, set a last, five minutes task for yourself and/or with your child; work on writing a note at least once a week to the teacher.

1. Was there something from the assignment that you didn’t understand?

2. Were the directions unclear to you?

3. Did you feel the assignment somehow didn’t achieve what it was supposed to?

Instead of feeling frustrated, especially when you first start this study process, communicate your frustrations with the teacher.

4. Did you feel this assignment was especially effective?

5. Would you like more assignments like this to work on with your student? Communicate these ideas as well with the teacher.

In conclusion, now make a commitment to making study time a part of your routine!

Create a study time that works well for your children.
Create a study time that works well for your children.

3. Advantages of parents’ involvement in their children’s education:

1. Knowledge of child development:

Parents’ ability to foster a sense of belonging and self-worth in their children is vital to the children’s early development. In much the same way, parents contribute to children’s emerging social competence by teaching them skills—such as self-control, cooperation, and taking the perspective of others—that prepare them to develop and maintain positive relationships with peers and adults. Parents can promote the learning and acquisition of social skills by establishing strong relationships with their children.

2. Emotional and Behavioral Competence:

Children need care that promotes positive emotional health and well-being and that supports their overall mental health, including a positive sense of self, as well as the ability to cope with stressful situations, temper emotional arousal, overcome fears, and accept disappointments and frustrations. Parents and other caregivers are essential resources for children in managing emotional arousal, coping, and managing behaviour.

3. Social Competence:

Children who possess basic social competence are able to develop and maintain positive relationships with peers and adults. Social competence, which is intertwined with other areas of development (e.g., cognitive, physical, emotional, and linguistic), also may include children’s ability to get along with and respect others, such as those of a different race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or economic background.

4. Cognitive Competence:

Cognitive competence encompasses the skills and capacities needed at each age and stage of development to succeed in school and in the world at large. Children’s cognitive competence is defined by skills in language and communication, as well as reading, writing, mathematics, and problem-solving. Children benefit from stimulating, challenging, and supportive environments in which to develop these skills, which serve as a foundation for healthy self-regulatory practices and modes of persistence required for academic success.

5. Parenting Knowledge:

Parenting knowledge, attitudes, and practices are shaped not only by each other but also by a number of contextual factors, including children’s characteristics (e.g., gender, temperament); parents’ own experiences (e.g., those from their own childhood) and circumstances; expectations learned from others,

To respond to the varied needs of their children, parents must also develop both depth and breadth of knowledge, ranging from being aware of developmental milestones and norms that help in keeping children safe and healthy to understanding the role of professionals (e.g., educators, child care workers, health care providers, social workers) and social systems (e.g., institutions, laws, policies) that interact with families and support parenting.

6. Physical Health and Safety:

At the most basic level, children must receive the care, as reflected in a number of emotional and physiological protections, necessary to meet normative standards for growth and physical development. Young children rely on parents and other primary caregivers, inside and outside the home, to act on their behalf to protect their safety and healthy development. And have the ability to thrive and ensures their survival from injury, physical and sexual maltreatment.

4. Reflection on parents' involvement in their children's education:

Reflection on parents' involvement in their children’s education has long been recognized as a significant factor in educational success. Parents clearly have rights in terms of their children’s education.

The following should be a great concern of the parents about their children's education:

1.Role models for learning to their children:

The fact that the child spends more time in school than at home does not and should not preclude parents from functioning in their calling as being role models for learning to their children.

2. Parents should pay attention to what their children love to do:

Parents should pay attention to what their children love to do, tuning into how their children learn, practising what their children learn in school and setting aside good quality time to read/study with them as well connecting what their children learn in school to everyday life.

3. Helping their children to take charge of their learning:

Other areas of attention that parents cannot afford to ignore are helping their children to take charge of their learning, not over-scheduling the children.

4. Making efforts on the children to acquire new skills often and often :

Minimizing watching of television and (parents) learning new things themselves as it is important for parents to show their children that they too are making efforts to acquire new skills as this may rub off on the children and spur them to follow in their footsteps.

5 .Parents should do everything humanly possible to send their children to school:

With the advent of education, it is the responsibility and indeed the duty of the parent to ensure that the child is properly educated. This naturally takes us to the Greek era when parents struggled to send their children to the few schools available then and that trend has continued till today with many good and concerned parents still doing everything humanly possible to send their children to school.



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