Media Contact: Keith.O’Connor@baystatehealth.org, 413-794-7656
SPRINGFIELD – After a long, hot summer away from the classroom, kids may need a little extra nudge from parents to get them back into the study mode.
“Helping your child to succeed in school requires just a little extra effort that will pay off in the long term,” said Dr. Matthew Sadof, a pediatrician at Baystate High Street Health Center/Pediatrics.
“It’s important to create a quiet space in your home where there are no distractions and your child can retreat to every day to do his or her homework,” he added.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following additional tips for parents in helping their child develop good homework and study habits:
• Schedule ample time for homework.
• Establish a house rule that the TV set stays off during homework time.
• Supervise computer and Internet usage.
• Be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but never do a child’s homework.
• Take steps to alleviate eye fatigue, neck fatigue and brain fatigue while studying. It may be helpful to close the books for a few minutes, stretch, and take a break periodically when it will not be too disruptive.
Dr. Sadof said it’s important to step in right away if you learn your child is struggling with
a particular subject whether English, math, science or otherwise.
“Talk with the child’s teacher who can direct you to resources that are available at the school, online, or in the community. Acting early to get the problem resolved since learning is built on skills acquired early in the year,” said Dr. Sadof.
The Baystate pediatrician also noted that children who read more tend to do better at
“Encourage pleasure reading in your home or your public library. Reading with your child from an early age can promote the love of reading,” said Dr. Sadof.
Dr. John Fanton of the Child Partial Hospitalization Program and Child Behavioral Health Clinic, also believes that parents play a major role in helping their child be successful in school and to deal with their many everyday stresses. He said it all begins with simply carrying on conversations with your child.
“The more children hear their parents speak to them, the more their language and
school success improves, especially for younger children. The more descriptive you can be by adding in plenty of details, the more your child will use more language everywhere in their life. The end result is that they will become better in their general understanding and ability to express themselves in school and at home,” he said.
Dr. Fanton stressed additional ways parents play an important role in helping their children develop good work habits needed in school and life.
“Children whose families have regular dinners have been found to be more successful
in school, have more positive relationships with their family members, and have better problem- solving abilities. Also, when families engage their children in assisting with the meal preparation and clean up, it provides an opportunity to teach about nutrition, as well as to talk about important events in their lives,” he said.
And, don’t forget to praise your child, as well as to take some time for yourself.
“Children who are praised every day do not become spoiled, but are more likely to succeed because they feel good about themselves and their skills. Positive words, hugs, fist-bumps, and high fives all are ways to encourage our children and let them know we enjoy them doing well,” said Dr. Fanton.
“It’s important for parents to assess their own personal needs. I strongly encourage parents to find ways every day for their own quiet time and having their own needs met. Try taking a walk, listening to relaxing music, as well as establishing a quiet time for the whole family, as well as a ‘parents only’ ” time,” he added.
For more information on Baystate Children’s Hospital, visit baystatehealth.org/bch, or for more information on Baystate Medical Center, visit baystatehealth.org/bmc.