As a parent, you want to see your kid succeed, whether it’s in their personal or academic lives. Wanting what’s best for your kid is a natural, innate and universal expression of love – and there’s nothing wrong with it.

However, there’s a significant difference between forcing your kid to succeed in high school and giving them the tools to succeed. The former emphasizes a results-oriented look at the world, while the latter prioritizes personal achievement and potential. A chorus of experts has shown that the former doesn’t work that well, while the latter can have a profoundly positive influence.

How do you provide them with the requisite tools for success? Let’s review four compelling ways to help your kid succeed in high school.

Consider the Right Education Model for Your Learner

To start, you can consider your kid’s education holistically. Are they getting the right education for them? Have you considered alternative models to the traditional synchronous classroom?

These questions represent a fantastic starting point. If you haven’t already done so, research self-paced online courses. Many young people find this multimedia-focused, flexible and supportive environment more conducive to personal growth. For instance, they can take their time on challenging units in their ENG4U courses online or breeze through topics they find easy in SBI4U Biology. They can take time off for mental wellness and focus on studies without peer-related distractions.

Online learning isn’t for every student, but every student should have the option.

Foster a Growth Mindset vs. a Fixed Outlook

Next, consider the differences between a “growth mindset” and a “fixed mindset.” A growth mindset involves championing effort. People with a growth mindset believe that success depends on effort, and that skills are developed rather than inherited. Conversely, a fixed mindset believes that talent and ability are fixed – therefore, it isn’t worth striving for things we aren’t already good at.

Try to foster a growth mindset by emphasizing effort and improvement over results.

Model Curiosity, Motivation and Engagement

High school-aged students are incredibly perceptive, for better and worse. They take cues from the world around them, absorbing behaviours and mirroring attitudes. And although it may seem like they never listen to you, they do – in multiple, minute, imperceptible ways.

As such, try to mirror positive learning behaviours like curiosity, engagement and motivation. Show them how curious you are about new things. Talk about what excites you. Share new facts you’ve learned. Let them see that education is an ongoing project that continues beyond final exams.

Tend to Those Basic Needs: Diet, Sleep and Activity

Finally, nurture those basic human needs. Ensure your young learner eats a balanced diet, which research shows can influence mood and concentration. Promote healthy, consistent sleep schedules for better focus. And consider family activities that get the blood pumping because research shows that endorphins can increase confidence, self-esteem and motivation.

You want what’s best for your teenage learner. Rather than demanding success, offer your kids the environment, mindset, curiosity and basic needs they require to succeed. The rest is up to them!