By Divya Gokulnath
As a parent, we are our child’s first teacher. We possess the natural ability to sense their feelings and hence, we should play a huge role in motivating them and more importantly, supporting them with their goals. We are the ones who guide and instill life values in them. A parent’s involvement in their child’s learning process can create a massive and life-long impact thereby making the child an enthusiastic and passionate learner.
I believe that it’s important to allow children to become self-initiated learners as they are curious by nature. We need to keep them curious and help them to grow and explore. Here are some tips on how you can make a huge impact on your child’s academic, social and cognitive well-being, while bringing out the best in them.
Be a friend
Focus on your child’s achievements and not their shortcomings. You are your child’s best friend, motivator and guide. If you believe in them, they will start believing in themselves and become confident learners. In fact, studies show that when parents motivate and encourage their children to learn, the outcomes are highly positive and contribute towards their child’s success too.
Make learning more “real”
Children learn the best when they can relate concepts to real life. Using ample number of examples to explain will really help your child understand and retain concepts for life. Make sure to draw linkages between theoretical concepts and real world objects. This will broaden their thinking ability and their observation range as well.
Sport a ‘we-can-do-it’ attitude
Promote a ‘we-can-do-it’ attitude. Be patient until they finish their tasks independently on their own time rather than rush into helping them finish it. Assure your child that nothing is too difficult to learn if we treat it with simplicity. For example, if my son tries to open a bottle cap and fails, I do not try to help him immediately. I wait for a while so that he will eventually figure it out. The key is to assist your child to become a self-paced, self-initiated learner while retaining their passion to explore.
If your child makes a mistake, explain how it can be corrected instead of calling them out for not doing it the right way. This helps them turn their shortcomings into strengths. The easiest way to encourage them is to share similar stories where you would have made a mistake and learned from it. For example, place a jigsaw piece wrong on purpose or place a shoe upside down; you will be surprised to see that your child corrects it. Most importantly, they should understand that it’s alright to make a mistake as long as you keep trying to correct it.
Motivation is the key
A little encouragement goes a long way. It can do wonders to boost a child’s approach towards learning and his/her confidence too. This is the key to drive better performance, both academically and socially.
(The writer is Co-Founder & Teacher, BYJU’S – The Learning App)