While the child went to kindergarten, he was burning with the desire to go to school as soon as possible and dreamed of becoming an excellent student. But after a couple of months at school, his enthusiasm waned. How can I help him get in the mood to study and kinesthetic learning? The methods to which parents often resort not only don’t help, but also are detrimental. Check to see if you’re making the same mistakes.
“Open your textbook quickly!”, “If you don’t sit down for lessons right away, I don’t know what I’ll do.” Such methods you are more likely to organize his schoolboy neurosis, than to show how wonderful and multi-faceted world of knowledge! The moment a close and beloved adult starts screaming, the child’s body releases stress hormones. He gets scared, shrinks, freezes – and generally loses all ability to think. Because he is scared, most of all he wants to become small and invisible.
Yes, he can go and sit down at the table, open his textbook and notebook, just to get you to stop cursing. But there’s a ligament in your head, firmly and for years to come, that “studying is a very unpleasant thing, it only makes everyone’s mood worse.”
Listen to my mother, her colleagues’ children are all in order: excellent marks, and read from morning till night, and how they deduce letters – wonder! Do you think these stories will help create the conditions for healthy competition? Hardly. And do not be surprised if the child then refuses to go to your corporate Christmas tree: somehow he is embarrassed to appear among the pleiad of young talents.
Your child is what he is. Some of it works, some of it does not. But he is just learning! Overwhelming admiration of others’ school achievements, you do not motivate him to develop, but rather the opposite: insulting and informing that he is not good enough, smart, talented. Unfortunately, this is a sure way to lower self-esteem.
What kind of arguments invent inventive parents can come up with! “If you don’t do well in school, Grandma’s blood pressure will skyrocket!”, “Whoever doesn’t want to do homework in 5th grade math workbook doesn’t have a smartphone,” “No one else in the family has a problem with math. Maybe you’ve been switched.” And that’s when the door opens to a world of very unpleasant and painful emotions (brr, about like a portal in horror movies): there’s guilt, fears, frustration, anger from powerlessness, and resentment toward stale parents.
Try to exhale, think calmly, and answer yourself honestly: how does grandma’s feeling of well-being relate to her love of reading or interest in the English language? It has nothing to do with anything. Your imagination is better directed in a productive direction: to think about how you can tell about the subject of interest, to remember what you liked in your school years, together to arrange a few spectacular (but safe) experiments.
This is a convenient way for parents, and it works with children: who will refuse money for good grades or a learned rhyme? So you can quickly save up for the coveted gadget. But does this method stimulate a desire to learn, or rather the desire to get a tidy sum? You give a reward for the result, but is the child interested in the process?
In order to really master the material, fascinated by the subject, begin to understand the subject, mechanical rote is not enough. By the way, this method does not rule out cheating. There is no interest, excitement, positive emotions – there is no full-fledged learning.
And what’s wrong with praise? Compliments like, “Well done!” “How smart you are!” are very nice to hear. But they’re just stating the fact that the child is good. His or her efforts, efforts and determination seem to remain outside your field of vision, that is, they do not receive any positive reinforcement. Of course, parents’ approval is very important for a small child, and instead of curiosity and interest in research, only the desire to be praised takes its place. After a while it may be joined by a fear of being disapproved. And if there will be problems with learning, if some topic seems incomprehensible, the child may be afraid to tell about it, because he or she is known for being “good” and “smart”!
Praise for specific activities, for small successes, for effort and ingenuity – so you’ll tell them which way to go next, and teach them not to be afraid of trial and error.