A radical guide to parenting which gives families advice on how to motivate children to do well at school is being piloted at a Scottish primary.

Drawn up by staff and parents at a school run by Glasgow City Council, the guide encourages families to identify how their children learn and then adopt strategies to encourage them.

Advice includes getting children to express their feelings and thoughts, encouraging them to think through the consequences of their actions, turn boring activities into fun games, think for themselves and praise effort as well as achievement.

Parents are also advised what to avoid. Notable don'ts include showing disinterest or ignoring their children, showing anger or entering into an argument or shouting when they get things wrong.

Other local authorities are interested in the scheme at St Marnock's Primary in Pollok and if it proves successful the guide could be rolled out to other parts of the country.

The guide is based on the work of Alan McLean, a principal educational psychologist with the authority.

He has spent a number of years trying to identify what he terms the "learning stances" adopted by children, which can range from the most enthusiastic child to those openly hostile.

He has formulated a number of strategies which teachers and parents can use to combat the strengths and weaknesses of each learning stance in order to get the best out of them. The strategy is known as The Motivated School'.

"The idea was to crystallise and bring some of the understanding that an educational psychologist has about the way a child may be behaving in the classroom and identify the best way of dealing with that in a way that could be used by teachers and parents," he said.

"Good teachers may do this anyway by varying the way they operate with different children.

"But we felt it would be helpful to write it down in a form that could be used as a template."

He added: "What we are trying to do is create an understanding that all those who come into contact with children can benefit from to help children reach their potential."

St Marnock's Primary, part of the Lourdes New Learning Cluster, has been at the forefront of developing the handbook. Heidi Fawcett, the school's headteacher, said she was delighted by the feedback from parents, who helped draw up the book.

She said: "We were interested in looking at ways to help parents decide how best to encourage their children at home but we quickly realised that the implications of what Mr McLean has done are much more wide-ranging." Caroline Scullion, who has two children at St Marnock's, Megan, nine, and Ben aged five, said: "My responses to them are more thought through and they are happier as a result. Every schoolteacher and parent should have this handbook."

The way forward
Show an interest
Encourage them
Offer ways to succeed
Focus on their strengths
Recognise their potential
Share responsibilities
Be firm but fair
Agree a few positive rules
Set clear basic boundaries
Be open to re-negotiation
Do activities together

Show disinterest
Deliberately ignore
Show your anger
Enter into an argument
Give too many threats
Show favouritism
Insist on your own opinion
Limit their expectations
Be inconsistent