You've decided to get a tutor for your child, but you aren't sure how they'll react to this. Some children love the idea of a special teacher and one-on-one learning. Others think, "Oh no, more school!"
Whatever your child's initial reaction is, there will be an adjustment period, getting used to the tutor-student dynamic and the information taught.
However, don't let your child's first response change your mind—here’s how to talk to your kids about online tutoring.
Explain Why They Need Tutoring
If children are told they need a tutor, they often jump to the conclusion that they're doing poorly in school, which may not always be the case.
Some parents see that a child has a passion for a specific subject, so they decide to encourage that interest through tutoring. Other parents may observe that their child is bored with a particular subject, so they get a tutor to challenge their child in new ways.
Perhaps your child needs more time and one-on-one teaching to understand a specific concept. Maybe your child has trouble focusing in a busy classroom, and a tutor will give your child an opportunity to learn in a quiet environment.
Tell your child honestly and kindly why you think tutoring is a good idea. When you open up the lines of communication concerning a touchy topic, you may be surprised by what your child will say.
Your child may have already realized they need extra help, and they're ready to try a new approach to learning.
What To Do if Your Child Doesn't Want a Tutor
In an ideal world, you and your child would be on the same team working toward a common goal. In the real world, this doesn't always happen. Your child might strongly dislike the idea of having a tutor.
Here are some suggestions for ways to handle this situation:
First, check your own emotions. If you're too upset to talk calmly, you may need to take a break and revisit the conversation later.
Try to find out why your child doesn't like the idea of tutoring. If there's a specific reason, you can talk about that and help them understand your thoughts about why they should try tutoring.
If you think your child is simply scared of trying something new, tell them a story of when you were scared of trying something new (and were later happy you went through with it).
Describe all the good things about learning more about the chosen subject.
Remind your child that they won't be alone. You'll be there to talk about the tutoring session, and you can help if there's ever a problem.
How To Convince Your Child That Tutoring Is a Good Thing
Here are a few ways to spin your conversation about online tutoring for kids, so your child understands it will be a positive thing:
Be upbeat. Steer away from commenting on your child's bad grades or poor conduct in school. Instead, speak about the extra attention your child will receive from the tutor and how tutoring will help them improve in school.
Emphasize the fun and enjoyable aspects of tutoring. For instance, having one-on-one tutoring makes the learning go a lot faster. The tutor will be a cool new person to meet. You can find a tutor who's just right for your child and their learning style.
**Keep yourself firmly on your child's side. **Show that you're 100% supportive of your child. You could say something like, "I want to get you the help you need to be awesome at math. Let's do this tutoring thing and see how it all works out!"
Make sure your child understands tutoring is not a form of punishment. Tutoring is a way to expand your child's horizons, grow their brain, or give them something new to think about. It's not an extra chore forced upon your child because they did something wrong.
Continue the Discussion
The first conversation about tutoring might have been the most difficult, but as the idea of tutoring sinks into your child's brain, there will probably be questions.
Make sure you're open to discussing these questions with your child. You may even want to bring up the subject occasionally to see what your child is thinking.
You'll especially want to connect after the first few tutoring sessions. Ask your child what they liked, learned, how they felt about the tutor, and if they found it too easy or difficult.
Be actively involved in the tutoring process, so your child has someone keeping them accountable and someone to turn to if there are any questions.
Parents should also discuss their child's progress with the tutor. This open communication between the parent, tutor, and student will help keep everyone on track.
Make sure you praise your child for completing the tutoring work. If you see good progress, let them know! Your child should know when tutoring is really benefiting them so they can feel a sense of accomplishment.
Here Are Specific Ways To Show Your Support
Because parental support is crucial in the tutoring process, make sure you frequently show your child unwavering support and how proud you are of their progress. You might say:
You looked like you were really learning some good things today.
I noticed you were listening well to your tutor today. You were so focused!
Tutoring looks like so much fun. Do you think I can do it, too?
Your tutoring must really be helping you in school because you're doing so well lately!
I talked to your tutor today, and they said you're making good progress.
How do you feel like your tutoring session went?
I'm so happy we decided to get a tutor. It really suits your learning style!
The more support you can give, the more confidence your child will gain. Even if your child struggles during the tutoring sessions, encourage them to keep trying. Be open to finding a different tutor who may connect better with your child.
Trust and actively participate in the process, and your child will reap the bountiful benefits of an online tutor.