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Lenny Bonn grade 7 Phone Icon 203-315-7946 Email Icon Email
  Heather Grattan grade 6 Phone Icon 203-315-7946 Email Icon Email

School Counseling Department

Contact Information:

Margaret Taylor, Guidance Administrative Assistant

                                         (203) 315-7946


Teach responsibility by setting an example and stepping back

          Your child is well past the age where he or she needs reward charts or trips to the ice-cream shop to motivate her to wash the dishes or feed the cat. But that doesn't mean he or she can't still benefit from ongoing lessons in responsibility.

To continue reinforcing the "be responsible" message without treating him or her like a little kid in the process:

  • Let him or her make decisions. As he or she gets older, think of yourself more as your child's advisor than her boss. Whenever practical, step back and let her make her own choices. 
  • Have him or her handle their own money. If your child receives an allowance, don't micromanage what he or she does with it. Insist he or she follow the house rules--such as giving a certain portion to charity--and talk about wise spending. But beyond that? Stay out of it. If he or she burns through her funds too quickly and can't afford to see a movie with friends, maybe she'll be more responsible next time. 
  • Be a good role model.More than anything you say, it's what you do that most affects your child. So if you want her to be responsible, you be responsible. From honoring commitments to keeping your word, it's vital that you walk the walk!

    You have the biggest impact on your child's school achievement

              Do you think the quality of your child's school makes the greatest difference in his or her overall academic success? Think again. Studies show that parent involvement has the biggest impact on kids' achievement.

    To reach this conclusion, researchers compared "family social capital" and "school social capital." They defined family social capital as:

    • The degree of trust between parent and child.
    • The amount of open communication at home.
    • The level of parent involvement at school.

    These same researchers defined school social capital as:

    • The availability of extracurricular activities.
    • Teacher morale.
    • The willingness and ability of staff to meet students' needs.
    • The presence of a positive learning environment.

              It turns out that kids with high levels of family social capital but low levels of school social capital do better than kids with more perks at school but less parental input at home.

              What does this mean? It means staying involved in your child's education is absolutely critical. To remain actively involved in her schooling:

    • Connect with teachers. Attend parent-teacher conferences. Read every handout that comes home. Regularly visit the school's website to see what's new.  
    • Take an interest in what he or she's learning. Every night, ask your child about what he or she did in school that day. And don't settle for a reply of "Nothing."
    • Encourage him or her to aim high. "You're doing great in math! How about taking honors next year?"