These tips are from the book FUNdamentals, a guide to help children become “well-rounded” individuals with the use of activities and parent interaction. The book emphasizes the role of parents as the child’s first and most important teachers. Kids benefit when the most important adults in their lives (parents) are working together towards supporting their growth.
- It means gradually extending the challenges the kids can solve.
- Stop if they feel overloaded.
- The aim is for the child to do a little bit more each time.
- Success breeds positive self-image and a willingness to keep trying and learning.
- Playing a difficult activity or game before a child is ready to do it may lead to failure and demotivation making the child uninterested in learning.
YOU SAY: “John, you’ve learned four new words today, that’s better than before. Well done.”
2. GIVE ‘JUST ENOUGH’ HELP
- Avoid saying, “Let me do it.” -It makes the child feel he is incompetent.
- Never leave the child struggling, but provide just enough help needed to accomplish a task.
- Help break a big task down into small steps- then stand back. It builds confidence and independence.
- Emphasize that mistakes are part of learning. That it’s not the end of the world.
YOU SAY: “We all learn from mistakes. What can we learn from this?”
YOU SAY: “Well, that didn’t work out quite right, let’s see why.”
3. PRACTICE ‘SHOW AND TELL’
- Avoid too much verbal instructions.
- Show and tell how things are done. Then let them do it.
- Be a fellow-learner.
YOU SAY: “Let’s open the box slowly. (while opening the box slowly)”
4. GIVE THEM TIME TO WORK IT OUT FOR THEMSELVES
- Avoid rushing in to help.
- Encourage them to think things through.
- Let them correct their own efforts if possible.
YOU SAY: “What do you think?”
YOU SAY: “Let’s think about this a bit more.”
5. GIVE ENCOURAGEMENT RATHER THAN PRAISE
- Avoid saying “good girl/boy” most of the time. They should not do things to please parents, but rather have a self-motivation that they will need later in life.
YOU SAY: “Well done, you succeeded because you looked carefully.”
YOU SAY: “You got on well that time because you did it a bit more slowly.”
6. ENCOURAGE METHODICAL THINKING
- Think things aloud then wait for your kids’ explanation.
- You may prompt your kid to think, deliberately and methodically, helping with the words needed- this creates self-confidence.
- Help them see what’s important.
- Help them take time and plan. Point out that making a plan-and not just rushing in-saves time later.
- Children are naturally impulsive so keep using the phrase “Let’s stop and think.”
- Encourage them to take care.
YOU SAY: “I wonder why that is?”
YOU SAY: “Now let’s look carefully. What do you think should we do first?”
YOU SAY: “Well, let’s put everything in front of us, so we know which one should be done first.”
YOU SAY: “Let’s stop and think. Where shall we start?”
YOU SAY: ” Do you think we should start with this one? or….”
YOU SAY: “Let’s take care so we do it right. ”
7. AVOID REWARDING WITH TREATS
- Rewarding with treats is a form of external motivation. The effort disappears when the bribe disappears. We may give them treats but not all the time. It will be very difficult to break once they get used to it.
- Aim for internal motivation where the feeling of success in meeting a challenge is its own reward.
YOU SAY: “I bet you are happy you can do that. ” Instead of “I’m proud of you.”
8. TAKE YOUR LEAD FROM HIS INTERESTS
- Suggest games, provide options, but let him choose what he wants to do.
- If you want to include something you think is important, you can make him do it after his first choice of activity.
YOU SAY: “Which of these games would you like to play first?”
9. ENCOURAGE CURIOSITY
- Encourage kids to look around at everything- to wonder, to ask why, how, what? You do this best by questioning as well.
- This is why gadgets would be avoided when traveling or inside the car. They’ll be missing out many great things that could stir up their curiosity if they keep on looking down on their gadgets.
YOU SAY: “Wow, look at that building. I wonder what’s inside.”
10. AVOID COMPARISON WITH OTHER CHILDREN
- Children progress at different rates in many different fields of endeavor.
- Comparing can lead to disappointment.
YOU SAY: “He jumps higher because he never stops practicing. That’s the reason why we always train every morning, to be stronger and to be able to jump higher.”
P.S. I don’t know which bookstores sell this book, but I saw that Amazon.com has old versions of it.
Have you tried other strategies in making the most of your child’s activities? Share them below. =)
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