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7 Ways To Identify and Build Your Child's Academic Potential

You know those special moments when your child's eyes light up with curiosity or when they ask a question that catches you off guard, making you think, “Wow, I never thought of that!” These instances are a testament to your child’s ability to look at the world with fresh eyes and challenge your perceptions. For example, did you know that Thomas Edison’s genius started to shine through in a basement lab in his parent’s home when he was a child? 

Hopefully, during your learning time for kids after school or work, you grab the opportunity and ensure you get them the answers to their unique questions. These moments are pure gold in child education, even if it may not be in the traditional sense. It shows us the amazing potential of our kids. 

But amidst their daily routines and responsibilities, how do you truly understand that potential and nurture it? How do you develop interest in studies and link it to their general interests? How do you ensure your child’s education success? 

We have curated a list of some important strategies to improve academic performance of students and identify their potential.  

How to Be Successful in Life for Students: 7 Ways To Identify Your Child’s Academic Potential

  • Catch their spark early

To truly tap into your children’s potential, start by observing them closely from an early age. Pay attention to what sparks their interest and how they react to certain situations and challenges. Extracurriculars matter too. Your children’s hobbies and creative pursuits might tell you something about their academic strengths, so encourage these. This watchfulness is vital to your children's learning processes. This way, you’ll be better eqipped to guide their academic performance and prepare them for future challenges.

  • Be their safe space  

Life can be stressful for your child, especially when it comes to tests, exams, and project work. This can make your child feel overwhelmed or anxious. In such moments, your role as a parent becomes more crucial. They need your calm presence and be their guiding force. As a parent, your sole responsibility isn’t figuring out how to make kids study, but also being their sounding board when they are struggling. 

Offering a listening ear, showing empathy, and perhaps sharing some advice can help. Talk to them about similar struggles that you face, and how you dealt with them. This will make you more relatable and will build trust for them to open up. 

  • Set clear, but kind expectations

It’s just not what you say, it’s about how you say it. Of course, you want your child to ace academic performance. However, it is important to ensure that your aspirations for them are clear but also realistic. 

Try saying something like, “I understand that maths is tough, but I believe in you. Just do your best!” instead of “You better ace that maths test or else…” Both statements emphasise the importance of academic performance, but the first statement assures your child that you’re supporting them through challenges,

  • Encourage learning time for kids

Has your child ever asked you why birds fly, or why the sky changes colour at sunset? Instead of offering a simple 'because they have wings' or 'it's just nature', dive deeper into their questions. Explore the science of flight, watch documentaries together, or even visit a bird sanctuary.

If they're fascinated with reptiles, consider a trip to the zoo or reading a book on the subject (even if snakes make your skin crawl). Engaging with their questions nurtures their love for learning. So, if you’re wondering how to make a child interested in studying, the answer is by offering plenty of opportunities for exploration and creating an environment ripe for growth and discovery. 

  • Give your child choices

As your children grow, balancing exploration and structure is key. Here’s how you can help; 

  • Allow them to choose a book during reading time. Ask, “would you like to read Harry Potter or learn something new about space exploration?”
  • Give them a say in project ideas while also guiding them towards educational goals. (For example, if your child shows interest in space, instead of giving them a generic space project, encourage them to research a planet or an astronaut they admire.)
  • Offer a range of extracurricular activities for them to choose from. 

By giving your children choices within set boundaries, you are allowing them to feel more involved and confident in their decisions. This is a great way to build independent thinking skills a child needs to excel in their future academic, professional and personal lives. 

  • Regularly communicate with your child’s teacher

It cannot be stressed enough how important parent-teacher meetings are to getting the most out of your kid’s education. Attend them consistently. You will obviously hear and ask about your child’s academic performance and areas for improvement. However, be sure to also observe their progress and acknowledge their strengths. Definitely underscore positives after the meet. Don’t let the child feel like you and the teacher are ganging up against them. Don’t let them hear you complaining about them to the teacher. 

Pro tip: Don’t act like a dictator. Give space to your child so that they can develop and express their own ideas and thoughts. Listen to them carefully and guide them the right way. 

  • Guide them gently

Avoid any negativity that will make your child second guess themselves. If your child shares a less-than-ideal (or even very-likely-to-flop) idea about a project, resist the urge to say, ‘That won’t work’. Say something like, ‘That is an interesting approach, why don’t you consider another angle too?’.  Make sure to support them and believe them every step of the way.

That said, don’t let them go in with an idea that you know will flop. Instead, guide them to the realization that it may not be the best idea by asking questions that will help them see the outcome or look ten steps ahead. 

In today's rapidly evolving world, complementing such guidance with cutting-edge tools can be immensely beneficial. Consider introducing your child to genetic testing and psychometric assessments. Genetic testing can unveil inherent traits and predispositions, while psychometric evaluations offer insights into their cognitive abilities and personality. It will give you a holistic view of your child’s strengths, preferences, and potential. This dual approach - combining nurturing feedback and modern technology - equips your child for success!

Discovering Deeper Potential

You have a key role to play in guiding your child towards their full potential. As a parent, your influence goes beyond just providing material resources. Actively support, listen, and be present for your child at all times. Remember, it is not just about celebrating the highs of academic success, it is about helping them through their lows with love and positivity. Offer them a shoulder to lean on, words of encouragement, and helpful solutions when they face challenges. 

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