Dr Scott Zarcinas

Dr Scott Zarcinas

As a parent, we all want the best for our children. We want them to be healthy. We want them to be happy. We want them to be successful.

So as the school holidays come to an end, we get their school clothes ready, we pack their school bag, make their lunch, fill their water bottle, and then give them a kiss for good luck before they head off for the beginning of the new school year.

As they merge into the throng of boisterous kids, we hope they’ll meet new friends and strengthen old friendships. We hope they’ll have fun and like their new teacher. We hope they’ll learn everything they need to know, and then more.

We put a lot of trust in our children’s teachers and we expect the school to do the right thing by our kids. It’s also easy to blame the education system when our kids don’t perform to the standards we’ve set them, but how often do we put that same trust and expectation upon ourselves as parents?

How often do we accept responsibility for the education of our own children?

How often do we accept the blame for our children’s failings or lack of achievement?

A recipient of the award for The National Teacher of the Year in the USA once made the remarkable statement that he knew exactly how each of his students would perform at the end of the school year on the very first day that school began, even before he had met his students or knew them by name.

When asked how he could know such a thing, he replied, “I know which student will do well and which won’t do well because the kids who do well bring their parents into the classroom on day 1.”

This is an extraordinary statement. It is also a remarkable window into the power of parenting—simply through your attitude you can affect the failure or success of your child’s schooling.

On average, the kids who do well at school have parents who care enough to make the time to come into the classroom and meet the teacher. These are the parents who take responsibility for their children’s education.

The kids who don’t do so well tend to have parents who are too busy or just don’t bother to make the time or effort to come into the classroom, let alone the school grounds. These are usually the parents who blame the education system for the poor grades of their children.

Irrespective of what country you live in or what school your children attend, one of the biggest impacts you can have on your child’s success is your attitude as a parent toward their education.

That is, how much you value their education (i.e. care), and how much responsibility you shoulder for their results they achieve.

Of course your child must also value their education and accept responsibility for how well they perform, but they learn to value their education and accept responsibility from you.

You, as a parent, set the standards for your children, but it’s far more beneficial to do it consciously and with intent than unconsciously or by accident.

At the end of every school semester when my daughters bring home their mid-year or end-of-year reports, the first thing I ask them to read out is the teacher’s comments on their attitude and application to their work.

“Your grades will reflect your effort,” I always say to them. “If you put in your best effort, you will get your best grades.”

Whether or not they get an A, B, or C for maths, English, history, or science I’m not too worried about. But if the teacher has commented that their effort or attitude has been below what’s expected of them, then I make my displeasure known.

Thankfully, my daughters have learned to value their education and have learned to take responsibility for their results, even in primary school. Especially in primary school, in fact, because that’s where they learned to value education and take responsibility before they even went to high school.

So the secrets of success won’t be taught at school this year, but it is where they put into practice what you teach them, that success is a habit, a habit of:

  1. The right attitude toward education—to value education and to take responsibility for their results.
  2. The right effort toward education—because their grades will always reflect the effort they have made and the time they have invested into learning.

Wonderfully, they can take this habit into anything they decide to do once their schooling has finished and make a success of their life.

Which, as a parent, is what we all want for our kids.


Dr. Scott Zarcinas (aka DoctorZed) is a doctor, author, and transformologist. He helps pro-active people to be happier, more confident, decisive, and effective so they can activate their fullest potential and become the person they are capable of being. He specialises in helping work-at-home fathers build their self-esteem and self-belief so they have the confidence and the courage to live a life that is true to themself. DoctorZed gives regular workshops, seminars, presentations, and courses to support those who want to make a positive difference through positive action.

Visit his website at www.scottzarcinas.com

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