Parenting to Inspire Academic Success

Parenting to Inspire Academic Success

By Donna Vail

The world we live in is changing fast. Everyone has cell phones; many have smart phones, and the laptop and desktop may soon by replaced by tablets. What is a standard today will soon be replaced by something different tomorrow. We face a competitive world and for our children it will increase exponentially. We must ensure our children develop the skills needed to survive and thrive in this new economy which includes creativity, adaptability, critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills.

As parents we often feel stressed, be it peer pressure, self-imposed pressure, fear of future failure or the need to be a “good parent with good kids.” This stress or pressure is conveyed to the children which causes them to just “get the work done,” perform to get praise, approval or reward, and be involved in a lot of “busy” activities, designed to keep them out of trouble and learn about every possible subject. Unfortunately this model is creating superficial success and exhaustion for the whole family. It’s really going against everything you want for your children.

What children really need is a partnership with you walking beside them, mentoring them with unconditional love, and showing them that we don’t have to be high performers in everything 100% of the time. While it is wise to do our best, working to improve ourselves, no one does it all 100% of the time in every area of life, so why would you put these expectations on your children? Parent partnerships are about living and working together authentically.

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We must be clear on our highest values and our parenting choices, this leads to authentic success which is always an inside job. Doing anything otherwise is superficial success and creates exhausted parents and children.

 “Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”  -Abigail Adams

Here are three steps you can take immediately to inspire your children to academic success through your parent partnership:

  1. Determine what success means to your family. Take time to consider each member of your family, their highest values and each person’s individuality. Create a family mission statement, and determine daily milestones of success engaging all members of the family. Do this together as a family, discussing as a family instead of creating rules and handing them out. The whole time you are doing this work keep in mind the parent partnership. Resist peer pressure. Honor what works for your family.
  2. Rather than constantly giving direction and intervention, encourage the children to work things out for themselves. Give them room to make their own mistakes, take appropriate risks and learn from their choices. Mentor them to be self-directed and use cause and effect rather than rigid rules. With accountability practices in place and unconditional love, each person is equally supported and challenged to be their highest self.
  3. Avoid over-scheduling and provide plenty of time and space for playing, thinking, exploring, recharging and family time. Children of all ages need time for their play which is their work. Giving them the space to think, explore and recharge will empower them to greater meaningful works. When don’t overload your schedule, you have time to share meals as a family. Make time on the weekends to bond by spending time together. This alone will pay great dividends for family relationships.

When children are supported as a whole as described above, you will immediately reduce stress and help your child develop the strengths and skills needed for today as well as the future. Most importantly they will grow into confident, caring, successful children.


Parents Inspired to Action:

  • Let go of the need to control. Take the position of a partner, walking beside your children rather than dominating. If necessary, acquire more knowledge and training in this area with complete support as you make the transition. Take it one step at a time. There’s no need to do it all at once and overwhelm you and as well as your family.

Children Inspired to Action:  

  • Explain to your children the changes you are making and the reason you are making them. Ask them to participate as partners and discuss everyone’s suggestions and input. Remember, everyone deserves to be heard and honored. Focus on making this a loving experience rather than reactive or emotional.

What inspires your children the most towards academic success? Please share by leaving a comment below.


About Donna Vail

Donna Vail, Education and Parenting Specialist, is founder of An Inspired Education and the Mentor Mastery Inner Circle, the proven step-by-step program dedicated to maximizing the success in the human potential through homeschooling and life mastery for the whole family. She creates educational programs for homeschool children, “after-school” study programs for public schooled children and personal development for moms, while homeschooling her five children. Get free tips and resources from Donna Vail at:


  1. Donna, this is fantastic!

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