Sunday, 2 November 2014

How to Keep your Cool when Teaching Kids (Your Kids)

I recently read a couple of comments where mothers were disturbed about the fact that they easily lose their composure whilst getting their young children to do their homework, prepare for a test or do an assignment. It is actually one of those times where our patience and composure is seriously put to the test. I started thinking about how I also feel that way sometimes. But over the course of many years and through a hot and trial method, I have learned some ways to make it better.

1. Make it fun: Use doodle apps on your ipads or mobile phones, write out difficult words on flash cards, get creative.

2. Let them do it themselves: It's true that kids need supervision, but they can surprise you too. Give a simple task to begin with, and pretend you need to do something and that you'll be back in five minutes. This will prompt them to think for themselves instead of us parents telling them what to do. Encouraging independence is a win win for both of you.

3. Keep calm: The fact is they may not grasp it in the first go, so let it go and change the subject. Do something else and come back to the issue later. Do not show frustration, there is plenty of that in the child's head already.

4. Set a time: Establishing routine is very important. Kids will settle into homework time automatically once you have established the set time. They won't cause as much resistance and if you're lucky, they'll remind you.

5. Notice distractions: Switch of tvs, or anything else that will divert attention. Check for signs for sleepiness, hunger or simply even thirst.

6. Revise: Do not underestimate the power of revision. Do a couple of pages of revision and reading after regular homework.

7. Chill: Remember that good grades do not necessarily define success. Plenty of successful people in history and in the present day have been school drop outs. Whereas I am not saying that your child should drop out or that you should not aspire to bring out the best in your child, know that each child is different and that if he is not a straight A student, there will surely be other untouched talents yet to to be discovered, So relax, they are just kids. Just be persistent.

8. Discouraging remarks: Do not put them down, do not compare and do not compromise their confidence. Show them you appreciate their efforts more than you appreciate their grades.

9. Breathe: In case you do feel like you are losing your cool, take a deep breath, remember your child also has feelings and put yourself in his shoes. Stop the task, and do something else or take a break. It is natural to lose patience, but you control your actions.

I am sure if you try a little to carry out these little tips with a sincere intent, you will see results. Leave me a comment on what other little tips you have picked up along the way to make study time more fruitful and fun.


  1. Hello, my name is Fida and I'm a member of the engagement team at KHDA. We'd like to invite you to an event we're holding for parents in Dubai. Could you please send me an email and I will get back to you with full details. Thanks!

  2. Excellent tips i hope i ll keep them in mind