Giving your child the courage to speak up for himself, ask questions in school and be engaged is key to his development. Children who ask questions in class are perceived as smarter than children who linger in the background, and are often given more challenging work, giving them an academic boost. There are several ways that you can give your child this confidence boost, and understanding them will help you to give him the courage he needs in class.
Talk to Your Child
Set aside a time each day to talk to your child. Ask him how his day went, and don’t accept a simple “good,” as an answer. Have him tell you what happened at the beginning of the day, what books he read, who he sat with at lunch or what he did during art class. Then, tell him about your day. Allow him to ask questions about your commute, your co-workers and your work. If you’re a stay at home parent, chat with him about the errands you ran, the work that you did or your volunteer work. The key here is to get him used to having conversations with adults.
Let Her Teach You
An easy way to give your child confidence in the classroom is to make sure she has mastered the work. Have her teach you concepts that she has learned in class. Choose a multiplication problem and ask her how to perform the operation. Have her read a book to you and explain what the story is about. Intentionally get part of the task wrong so that she can correct you. By teaching you how to perform their tasks, they will be more confident in themselves and their ability to explain skills if asked.
One of the main reasons that kids don’t want to answer questions in class is because they are unsure that they will have the right answers. Kids learn more by doing and teaching, and the question and answer session with you will give them valuable practice for being put on the spot in class.
Allow them to Make Mistakes
One of the reasons that hand raising and answering questions is so difficult is because there are often severe consequences for making mistakes. Kids often think of the world in either black or white, right or wrong. Teachers can often unintentionally reinforce this notion by praising only 100 percent correct answers. Change this notion at home by allowing your child to make a mistake, think about the correct answer and work through his knowledge bank to find the correct answer.
Listen to Them
Some kids don’t participate in class because the teacher is not actually listening to them. The teacher may be listening for the right answer, but not to the child’s thought process or his opinions on the subject. When your child is talking, listen to her. Dig deeper into the meaning of what she is saying, and ask her clarifying questions. Try to delve into the unspoken motivation behind her words. Is she asking questions because she wants more attention from you, or is she looking for literal answers? When you show your child that you are listening, they will gain the confidence they need to engage in class participation.
Enroll them in Martial Arts
Enrolling your child in a martial arts class is an amazing way to help him gain self-confidence and self-esteem. When your child feels good about himself, he will be empowered to ask questions, raise his hand and speak up while at school. In addition, he will be more confident in other areas of his life. He will learn to communicate with adults, stand up to bullies and ask for what he wants in life.
Martial arts classes teach them to look within themselves and find their strengths. This allows them the courage he needs to make mistakes, even with his peers as an audience.
Model Assertive Behavior
Passive people are often timid, afraid to speak up and put other people’s needs before their own. Aggressive people are often loud, overpowering and put their needs before others. The happy medium is the assertive person who stands up for himself without infringing on the rights of others. Model this behavior for your child. If you are given the wrong change in the supermarket, show him that it is okay to speak up and ask for the correct amount without being aggressive toward the cashier. This will help him to be more assertive. Show him that he can participate in class and speak up instead of being timid and cowed.
One of the problems that keep students from raising their hand is that they are often intimidated by the more aggressive kids. They may weakly raise their hand to speak while other kids simply yell out the answer or jump up out of their seats. It can be hard to overcome these challenges, so practice assertive behavior on a daily basis so that it becomes habit for your child.
Role play situations with him in which he speaks up for himself. Give him a scenario that is intimidating, and work through strategies to help him to feel confident in his abilities to verbally defend himself.
Getting your child to speak up in class is critical for his academic career. Timid kids often get overlooked and underestimated, making them less likely to be challenged or pushed ahead in school. The kids who achieve the most are those who can speak up for themselves, ask for what they want and demand their place in the conversation. These skills will become invaluable in their adult lives as they jockey for position in the workforce and in the world of business.
The best ways to give your child the confidence he needs is to get him to talk to you and other adults, ask questions and practice the art of speaking in front of an audience. Enrolling him in karate classes will encourage his participation in his classroom and throughout life.