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Bruce’s top six tips for encouraging a positive attitude to learning

Bruce’s top six tips for encouraging a positive attitude to learning
Published: Sun 14 Jun 2020
Building a positive attitude towards learning and school

Recent research shows that fathers have a significant impact on academic achievement and children’s attitude towards learning and school is very strongly influenced by their father.

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If you model and encourage a love of learning you will be setting your child up for success throughout their life.

Everyone has different memories of their time in school – some are very positive, but others may be less so. Of course, your personal experiences and memories may affect your attitude towards school and education.

However, it is important that we allow our children the opportunity to enjoy school and form a positive attitude toward learning.

If your attitude is positive, your children will be more likely to begin the new experience of school with excitement and positivity.

As your kids move through their school years, it is important to keep emphasising the importance of learning and keep encouraging them to get the most out of their school experience.

As fathers, you might ask yourself, what are my children learning from me?

What do I teach them with my actions and words, and my own attitude toward learning? What are they learning from their dad about ‘having-a-go’ and trying your best? Do I show them how to make and learn from their mistakes, and how to work with and respect others?

What do they see and hear from me every day?


Top tips for encouraging a good attitude to learning

  1. Focus on the positives. Praise your school for the good things that you see being done. Send a note to the teacher or write in their diary when you are pleased with what he/she is doing.
  2. Approach learning with positive messages. Ask your children about what they have learnt at school each day. Ask them questions about what they are learning, and ask about their thoughts and opinions about new topics they are learning about.
  3. Take an interest in your child’s school. Read the school newsletter or other notice board and discuss the schools events and news with your child – over a meal, or on the way to or from school.
  4. Show respect for all teachers and be careful about the words and actions your child hears and sees.
  5. Take an interest in your child’s homework and assignments. Ask your child if they would like to discuss anything with you.
  6. Reward your child for their approach. Notice and recognise their approach to learning, effort in homework, and attitude towards their work. Use positive reinforcement (words and actions) to let them know you can see they are working hard or doing well – this encouragement from dad will go a long way.

Dr Bruce Robinson is the founder of The Fathering Project – see more from Bruce

If you or your children are struggling
Kids can call Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 or Youth Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or you can contact your child’s GP. If you are struggling, call Lifeline on 131 114, or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.


Mondays with Fathering Project founder Dr Bruce Robinson
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