By Meenal Arora
Parents want the best for their children. But as no two individuals are the same, their parenting styles also cannot be the same. Parenting styles are usually a result of years of experience and thus are different for everyone pertaining to the differences in environment and growing up conditions. However, whatever be your parenting style, here are some effective tips which every new-age parent must keep in mind in order to raise confident and well-equipped children.
Inculcate a love for reading
As parents, we try to inculcate all good habits in our children from an early age. Similarly, the habit of reading should be instilled right from your child’s early development years. Reading has several benefits for children. It leaves a lasting impact on their young, impressionable minds. Exposing your child to the world of books improves their imagination and creativity. Children who read are more likely to have a focused attention span, better grasping power and enhanced memory.
Parents should encourage their child by setting an example. When children see parents reading, they are likely to follow suit. Reading material should be kept around the house, giving children easy access to books. For younger children, parents can read along with them in turn, enjoying quality family time as well.
Let children lead their learning
Children learn better when they are actively involved in their own learning process. Parents should act as facilitators to aid and assist children. When children feel controlled, they often withdraw from learning. It’s important to guide children through the learning process and allow them to take control of their own learning experience.
Moreover, when children learn in their own way and at their own pace, they learn the best. They feel ownership of their learning process, begin to self-evaluate and reflect on their progress. They also actively take part in goal-setting and learning milestones. Therefore, parents must seek out opportunities for children to lead their own learning process. Whenever possible, provide choices to them. Parents should allow children to choose their own extracurricular activities. The more control children are provided in their learning process, the more engaged and motivated they are to learn.
Cultivate their passions
Children have dreams, desires and interests, just like everyone else. Usually, these interests and passions determine when and how they learn. When learning engages children in areas and subjects of interest, learning becomes fun. Moreover, children connect with learning that is relevant to their interests.
Parents should encourage their children to explore topics and subjects that fascinate them. Although parents may have certain expectations when it comes to activities that are deemed appropriate for children, they should be given some freedom to cultivate their interests as well. Their interests and natural curiosity pave the way for learning which opens their minds to knowledge and new experiences.
Encourage different learning styles
We often expect others, especially our children, to learn in the same way as we do. But, this is not possible. Everyone perceives information in a different manner. Children have varied learning preferences and styles that are best suited to their way of learning. Some follow one dominant learning style while others prefer using a mix of styles.
Parents need to be aware of what works for their child and what not when it comes to learning. There are seven fundamental learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Verbal, Physical, Logical (mathematical), Social and Solitary. Some children learn hands-on, while others work the best using language and do well with reading. For young children, it’s important to explore and use different types of learning styles in order to understand their preferred style(s) of learning.
Focus on learning, not on performance
Focusing on performance can hinder learning in children. They often feel that their parents, teachers and peers will think highly of them if they perform better. But, instead of helping them perform better, it takes away their focus from learning thus hampering their improvement and performance. Parents should encourage children to do their best, but at the same time, be willing to accept that their best may not always reap desired results.
When parents focus on what children have learnt, they communicate the importance of actual learning. Children also get to know that results are not everything and their parents are more concerned about them instead of just their grades, which in turn gives them a sense of security.
Engage in game-based learning
Using games as learning aids is not a new concept. It is an advantageous and highly effective way to teach different skills to children. Children are practicing life skills like collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking, etc, through game-based learning. The more complex and challenging a game, the more skills it is going to target. Moreover, using games as a learning source motivates and engages children.
A well-designed educational game could combine specific learning objectives of the education system and curriculum with the fun of a commercial game. Parents and teachers can introduce new ideas and teach different skills through games while keeping children positively engaged at the same time.
Praise and celebrate achievements
It is important to recognise and celebrate your child’s achievements. Acknowledgement of efforts takes a child from being a passive learner to becoming an engaged and self-motivated learner. It plays a significant role in developing their self-esteem and overall personality. Moreover, continuous and consistent positive reinforcement will build confidence in children
When recognising achievements, parents should focus on the efforts involved and not the reward system. There are several ways through which parents can praise children. It can be in the form of words of encouragement or a small token of appreciation to show that you care. Whatever be the way, the responsibility lies with the parents to provide an enabling environment for their child to grow.
Children learn the most by what we do and how we behave. Apart from all these suggestions, it is necessary for every parent to be a positive role model for children. Thus, giving children the solid foundation they need to grow and develop into well-rounded individuals.
(The writer is Founder Director – Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools)
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines