Archive for June, 2014

Are You a Supportive Role Model-Parent? Your Child is Watching You.

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

One of the things I often discuss with colleagues and visitors is the importance of a support structure to a student’s success. No one does it alone. Support is an essential success factor. The support structure starts with the home environment and the relationships therein, but also includes the school, community and social environments as influential contributors. This entry looks at the home environment (especially the parent-child interface) and asks simple sample questions to induce parents to reflect on the type of role model they are to their child. The answers to these questions and others similar to them can lead to insight about the nature of the communication filters between parents and their children. These communication filters form whenever your child is watching you – whether you are conscious about it or not.

1. Do you share interests with your child?
A. Constantly.
B. When I can.
C. We have nothing in common.
Reflection: Is there anything that bonds?

2. Do you make any sounds/noise at night after your child has gone to bed?
A. No.
B. Just a little soft white noise.
C. Yes, loud noises including television, radio, laundry machine or hairdryer.
Reflection: Is there sensitivity?

3. Does your child eat your cooking?
A. Yes, and he/she enjoys it.
B. Yes, but it’s a struggle.
C. No.
Reflection: Is there cooperation?

4. Does your child offer to help you?
A. Yes.
B. Sometimes.
C. Don’t recall.
Reflection: Is there opportunity?

5. Do you make your bed in the morning?
A. Yes.
B. Sort of.
C. Who cares?
Reflection: What organizational impression do you leave?

6. When it’s time for your child to do homework, do you…
A. find something quiet to do and help when asked?
B. go about with your usual activity (talk on the phone, watch television, …)
C. interrupt your child about something not related to homework?
Reflection: Is there time management?

7. Do you drive at the speed limit?
A. Yes.
B. No more than 5 mph above the posted speed limit.
C. Never notice it.
Reflection: How do you prioritize?

8. Do you make a complete stop at a STOP sign?
A. Yes.
B. Rolling stop.
C. What’s a STOP sign?
Reflection: What is your attitude?

9. My emotional intelligence is a key factor in my relationship with my child.
A. Agree.
B. Sometimes.
C. What emotional intelligence?
Reflection: Is there anything more important in your life?

10. My parent-child relationship provides me with feelings of deep intrinsic motivation.
A. Agree.
B. Sometimes.
C. Cash incentives work better.
Q: Do you feel organically rewarded?

Note: Treat these questions as seriously as you choose. Laugh at them if you wish (I think humor is an effective way of communicating ideas). Create additional questions for yourself or to share with other parents. Reflect on any time you may be making a observational impression on your child. The questions above are not meant to be scope-defining, definitive, exhaustive, or even generalized. I’m just trying to inspire self-critical thought for continuing professional (parent) development.

Another note: This entry marks the start of the YCISL Parent-Student Toolkit.