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Hello, my name is Alexia Mezzini and I am a full time tutor and the cofounder of My Tutor Lab, an app based platform where we connect parents and students to qualified tutors in their area.
My tip for today is on how to improve your child’s confidence and how that is connected to their love of learning. First of all, I would like to say I truly believe instilling confidence in a child in their everyday life activities directly affects their confidence academically. So I suggest practicing my tip with all sorts of challenges and curiosities, from educational to the practice of values, community service, health, and all interests your child might have!
Many times, confidence stems from success, but how do we set up our children to succeed, especially over the summer? What I find that works best for my students is creating a goal chart that is guided using the criteria of SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Let's go through an example.
Imagine your child’s goal is to be a fast swimmer. Now let's transform it into a SMART goal. We first have to make it specific and measurable, so let’s change the goal to “I will swim 100 m in less than two minutes.” The second step is to make sure it is achievable. This part is extremely important. The goal has to be realistic, yet not so simple that it doesn't create a challenge. If the goal is not realistic and your child fails to reach it, it could have a negative effect in terms of self-confidence. So it is highly important for the goal to be realistic but still requiring effort and focus.
In the case we have created, your child can already swim 100 m in two minutes and 15 seconds, therefore making the goal achievable. You then want to make sure it is relevant, which in this case it is because swimming is your child’s passion. Lastly, the goal should have a time frame, so we can change it to say “I will swim 100 m in less than two minutes by the end of the season.” Here, we have created a SMART goal that will help your child succeed and increase his or her self-confidence.
Now what I personally include in my student’s goal charts are what I like to call “mini goals.” I use these as steps or benchmarks for my students to stay on task. Sometimes when the goal seems too far off, children can tend to lose focus or their hope in achieving it. Mini goals help overcome this feeling, as well as boost their confidence in their journey. I suggest making them very specific and with a time frame. An example that would go with our case would be “I will run a 5K under 30 minutes each weekend to improve my cardio fitness.” I would then create a calendar with these mini goals listed in which your child can go crossing them off as he or she accomplishes them. These mini goals will allow for more frequent wins, keeping your child confidently motivated that they can achieve their ultimate SMART goal.
The summer is a great time to practice the habit of making SMART goals. Sit with your child and ask them, “what would you like to accomplish this summer?” You can apply the SMART goal strategy to any activity or goal to help your child feel confident while building organizational skills and discipline.
The last part of my tip is for you as a parent. Make a SMART goal for yourself as well! It is a habit that anyone at any age will find helpful. Additionally, you’ll be showing your child that even as an adult, you also have goals and challenges to overcome. This way, you are also normalizing the fact that people face challenges their whole life!
My tip will help set your child up for success and when children succeed, they are boosting their confidence! With confidence and success comes passion. And I believe that passion is the core to stimulating a love of learning. Thank you for listening and have a great day!
Alexia Mezzini is a tutor and the cofounder of My Tutor Lab, an innovative app based platform that connects parents and students to qualified tutors in their area for face-to-facetutoring sessions. Alexia graduated from the University of Miami with degrees in psychology, education, and math. She discovered her passion for education when she began tutoring her younger brothers. What started as a hobby 12 years ago, has turned into a passionate career. To this day, she continues to tutor students daily in hopes of making an impact on their lives.