Updated: Jun 16
Teaching your children new skills can be a tedious process. This article gives tips and tricks to make the process a little easier and will have longer-lasting effectiveness. With some repetition and encouragement, your kids will be sailing with proper training.
First, it is important to note that kids typically want to please their parents. When they feel like they are failing, they will either shut down or act out. If your child is not succeeding at something, it may help to consider the way you are teaching.
Parents are often frustrated when kids fail to meet expectations. However, expectations are often not presented and kids are not properly trained for the job. Kids aren't born knowing how to fold shirts properly or how to clean a bathroom. They need instruction to do an adequate job.
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Step 1: Model How to Do It
When teaching a new skill, it is helpful for kids to see the skill done correctly. Whether it is folding laundry or practicing math skills, these principles work the same way. Start with demonstrating it. Verbally describe what you are doing. The combination of hearing the instruction while watching it can help children understand and remember.
Step 2: Do it Together
Depending on what it is, you either do it as a team or you stand by and watch your children so you can offer instruction while they are learning. This provides support and a way to intervene so bad habits are not developed. Be sure to be encouraging, calm, and engaged. Avoid sighing, grabbing things away from your child, or using any critical words.
Step 3: Have Your Child Do it Alone
Once your child seems to understand the skill, allow them to work on it. You can come back later to see how it worked out. Celebrate what went well. You might have to have them go back and work a little more, but be sure to not minimize what they did right. Sometimes it take some practice before the kids learn the skills, like in the video below.
Make sure your expectations are age-appropriate. Young children will need a lot of practice to meet adult standards. It takes time, repetition, and maturity for them to gain the skills needed to meet higher standards. Some kids just simply are not detail-oriented. They will likely not be likely to meet high standards.
You may need to repeat this process many times, especially for inattentive kids. If the job is only done periodically, children may forget how to do it. Be patient and keep up with proper training. Eventually, it will stick.
Some of the best training is to just bring your children into your everyday world. Allow them to be with you and engaged while you are doing your normal tasks. You will be surprised at how much they learn!
Remember, your kids will do what you do, not what you say. The most powerful way that parents teach their children is through modeling. What you do becomes "the normal" way of doing things for your kids. If you don't want your kids to do what you do, you probably should consider changing your own habits.
Photo by Elina Fairytale: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-woman-playing-with-her-children-3806953/