At a young age, children have yet to develop the ability to accurately judge context, or understand the meanings behind a person’s actions. What this means is, when teaching a child and helping them learn and grow, there is a list of do’ and don’ts. Too many negative actions when teaching a child may fill them with unnecessary doubts – things that won’t make them think harder, but rather, make them feel that they have to jump through hoops rather than grow. They won’t seek to learn, but only to avoid negative consequences as a result of failure or misunderstandings.
As a parent, the best way to keep a child eager and willing to learn is with positive reinforcement, rather than negative. Always have time to answer your child’s initiative. Are they asking questions about how things work? Answer them! It will show you are there to teach them, and it will also make it easier for them to look up to somebody who has answers for them. Do they ask a question you don’t actually know the answer to? Find out with them – most things can be immediately discovered online and will provide a positive experience for the child. Answering your children’s questions about the world will build a positive image of yourself, and of course, may leave them more accepting of instructions and advice in the future.
Another major point you need to make sure of, as I previously stated, is to remove the fear of failure from your child. Up until adulthood, the chance of failing is a prospect none of us relish in our daily tasks, and our ability to cope with it can greatly affect how we perform duties and tasks. If your child is too scared to make an answer for fear of failure than be sure to let them know that there will be no punishments, no mocking or laughing and that they are free to make mistakes. Much of our experience is gained from our failures.
One thing to remember is, we are all different, and so are children. Not all of us learn the same way – just because you found a certain method to be suitable for you when you learned through life, does not mean the same will apply to them. Don’t be afraid to experiment with ways of teaching. What games do they enjoy most, and which do they not show much interest in? Take advantage of what they enjoy and what they take to, and adapt it to what you need to teach.
Something I remember personally is that whenever I had trouble with homework, it was often not because of the difficulty, but because I hadn’t fully learned the ways of solving certain math problems, and similar things. If your child is unable to complete homework, don’t jump in and give them answers, but show them the methods used to complete it. Give them the tools to comprehend the tasks set and how to decipher them. Once they know how to deal with said obstacles, you’ll see their visible relief and even pride that they were able to overcome something that may have previously seemed impossible – it’s a very rewarding experience for you, and them.