No one said that teaching your children would be easy. Every parent has times in their life when they are not sure what to say when a teaching moment presents itself. Many parents question their abilities and second guess the quality of the job that they are doing as parents. There is no universal guide to parenting, but there are suggestions that can help you along the way. Here are just a few tips that may be helpful to you as you teach your children.
Keep Age in Mind
It may sound obvious, but you cannot expect to teach the same thing the same way to both a toddler and a teenager. It just won’t work. You have to tailor your lessons to the age of the child. Toddlers simply do not have a sophisticated ability to understand things conceptually. They need visual cues and short simple words to make sense of what you are saying to them. Teens know the difference between right and wrong and can use skills of reasoning out cause and effect. Ask your children if they understand what it is that you are trying to teach them and ask for their feedback. Do not perceive an inability to understand as being stubborn or defiant.
Mind Attention Span
You may feel like spouting off a novel of information as you try to teach your kids, but doing so may not do any good. You need make sure that as you teach your children, that you mind their attention span. Studies show that before the age of two young children are only able to understand one word disciplinary phrases like “no” or “hot” Trying to make them understand more complicated messages will only frustrate you, as a parent, and your child. Obviously as your children grow they will be able to absorb more information in a given period of time.
Rewards and Consequences
Children need to have rewards for good behavior and negative consequences for bad behaviors. When a child is first learning principles, it is especially important to give them motivation to continue working hard. One of the best types of rewards is praise. Negative consequences should be things that are difficult for your children, such as removal of toys or having to sit in a corner. Young children learn and carry with them as they age the principle that good deeds are followed by pleasant reactions and that bad deeds are met with disappointment.
Children thrive when their environment is consistent. Studies show that a child is able to retain much more information when they have an environment that they can count on and circumstances that they can predict. Doing set activities at certain times of the day encourages your children to stay organized and to prepare in advance. Consistency is also important in the way that you discipline and teach. It takes a lot of effort to remain consistent and follow through with all of the consequences that you have set for your children. However, when your children can count on you for stability, they will be better off because of it.
Children have a love of energy and enthusiasm that sometimes parents forget about. Your children will have a lot more fun learning if you are enthusiastic about it. Kids feed off of their parent’s energy. Show your kids that you value and are excited about learning by increasing your enthusiasm level when it comes time to teach your children.
Stay in Control of Your Emotions
Many times as parents, our emotions get the best of us. For example, there are times when our angel children will do things that are un-angelic. You can be firm without acting out of anger. When your children do something that makes you angry, you are teaching them how to respond by how you respond. The hardest and most profound lessons that parents teach are the ones that you teach without being aware of it.