Image: The Washington Post

Kathleen Siddell used to be a high school teacher. Then she became a mother. Then she realised there were loads of things she learnt in the classroom that were lessons she needed to be a good mum.

Read her full story, 10 Things I Learned As A Teacher That Helped Me As A Parent, from The Washington Post.

A few of her lessons include…

#5 There are many people who will influence your child, but never underestimate how much influence you have.

As a teacher, I saw my students for 48 minutes, five days a week. This is simultaneously a lot of time and not a lot of time. Just when you think you have little to no impact on their lives, they’ll surprise you by remembering something you said in passing.

As a parent, I know the weight of my words will gradually decrease as friends, teachers, coaches and others begin to form relationships with my kids. And then I start talking like my mom and I’m reminded of the influence parents still have.

#6 Get to know your kids – really know them.

The questions you ask are always more important than the answers you give. Spend more time listening than talking.

#7 But there is a fine line between being a relatable and friendly teacher and being a friend.

It’s as fine as the line between parent and friend. I’ve seen it done successfully (among both parents and teachers) but the friendships have always been a by-product of excellent teaching/parenting.

#8 The longer you do it, the better you get (if you keep trying).

You never feel like an expert. There is always something else you need to work on. If you’re doing it well, you’ll always wonder, “Did I do enough? What could I have done differently to have been better?”

#9 It’s okay to let your kids fail.

Despite what you may tell yourself about supposedly protecting your child from failure, you’re only exposing them to a false sense of security. Don’t stop your child from failing out of fear of how it will make you, as the parent, look.

The way to judge a bad teacher/parent is not whether the student/child fails but whether or not they give them the support, confidence and encouragement to try again until they succeed.