​When it Comes to Your Child's Learning, Do You Coach or Cheerlead? by Cornelius Grove

4 years ago
​When it Comes to Your Child's Learning, Do You Coach or Cheerlead?

Just about every American parent feels pleased when their child shows early signs of doing well in school or feels concerned when their youngster lags behind. Is there anything new that American parents could learn from other parents whose children have compiled a long record of outstanding classroom learning? In short, yes. There’s a group of parents whose children have long been known as top students, and whose parenting approaches have been painstakingly researched – parents of East Asia: China, Japan and Korea. The key difference that emerges is this: Some parents coach their child. Some only cheer them on. Both cheerleaders and coaches are “for” their team’s on-field success, but their roles differ.

Cheerleaders attend each game. They:

  • Deliver enthusiasm and high expectations for their team’s performance.
  • Pump-up players’ confidence in whatever levels of competence they have.
  • Provide self-esteem-boosting reassurance if the team isn’t winning.
  • Work separately on their own unique routines between games.

Coaches attend each game and all between-game practice sessions. They:

  • Deliver enthusiasm and high expectations for their team’s performance.
  • Direct the players’ strategies and tactics for winning.
  • Set and enforce rules for player health and behavior.
  • Provide models; drill players repeatedly to assure high competence.
  • Discipline players who don’t always work hard or master the basics.
  • Directly criticize poor performance, analyze errors, retrain and redial.
  • Regard team success or failure as their personal success or failure.

Solutions for a child's learning exists at the family level and these solutions depend on parenting style, especially how parents interact with their children about their school learning. The next time you engage in your child's education, remember to ask yourself, "Do I want to coach or cheerlead?" Learn more here!

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Learning From Parents Who Raise World-Class Classroom Learners

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