Our kids are studying, maybe...
Our kids are studying, maybe...
Parent24 Editor, Scott Dunlop
I spent hours and hours studying as a kid. Ok, that’s a lie. I spent hours with Asterix books tucked inside my textbooks. I’d read novels well into the middle of the night. Watch TV after my parents went bed, until the test pattern came on. Visit friends and smoke Gauloises while we played pool. All under the guise of ‘studying’. How much do you supervise your kid’s revision?

Many schools offer study leave for the older grades, and for some working parents this means having to trust your teens to make it home on their own. Once at home, these kids will need to put their endless gorging on jam sandwiches on pause while they get into the books. That’s only if their phones, computers and TVs don’t win their attention.

I was a dreadful scholar. The king of procrastination. Easily distracted. And that was before the digital revolution which has won the affection of kids the world over. If I was in school today, I’d be lost. My eldest son has his treasured BlackBerry and a voracious reading habit to distract him, so I’m starting to wonder, should I be limiting his access to gadgets?

Then again, he’s achieving well at school, so I don’t want to take away the things he enjoys. There are reward systems to consider, but we’d forget to keep track of those.

It’s making me realise- too often I judge my own kids by how ‘bad’ I was. My expectations are set to the worst possible outcomes for them, involving drugs, crime, sex, pregnancy, academic failure and bad taste in music. None of these things are true of them. They’re sweet kids. The most shocking thing they’ll do right now is make a joke about poop.

So instead of getting ahead of myself, I’ll try and keep a casual eye on them. I don’t need to scan their arms for needle tracks or check their friends for criminal records. I’ll have to trust that when they say they’re studying, that they really are trying to figure out the scientific names of clouds or the square root of whatever.

You may be fretting about your kids, too. Whether you like them to study in a central area where you can see them, or you’re actively helping them by asking them revision questions, or even if you just allow them to get on with it themselves, I hope all of your children do their very best.

Have you discovered the secret to getting kids to study? Send us an email to chatback@parent24.com and tell us about it. You could win a R250 kalahari.com voucher!

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