Being parents, we want the best for our kids. But usually most of the time, we don’t know what we’re doing wrong or what we’re doing right. Truth is, there is no wrong or right way to teach a child, we all have our own way of teaching.
But from my 10 years of experience, I’ve noticed a few common mistakes that parents unknowingly commit that slows down their child’s learning potential.
These mistakes although seems normal on the surface, can slow down your child’s learning, growth and sometimes even confidence. But it can be easily identified and prevented.
So if you have a child aged 5-12, you might be making the same mistakes as the many parents I have spoken to or observed. And the pointers I’ll be sharing will be crucial to helping you make sure that your child is on the right path to using his brain effectively.
So let’s get started!
Mistake #1: Discouraging Your Child From Expressing Themselves
Many parents I’ve noticed are quick to tell their children to keep quiet and behave in public. Sometimes, they do it just because they are too busy to handle their child’s comments or maybe they’re just having a bad day.
The problem here is that if you stop your child from expressing himself, he might lose confidence in his thoughts and might feel that his presence is unwanted. This reflects in his learning as he will be more afraid to make mistakes and will be closed off when exposed to new concepts.
Here’s what you should do:
Ask him about what he learned in school that day. Not just surface questions, but get him to try and re-teach you what he learnt. This way, you will also get him to revise and reflect the lessons he learnt in school. Also, he’ll be more confident in sharing more about all the other things he experiences. He’ll always be on the lookout to learning new things so that he can explain them to you once he gets home.
Mistake #2: Letting Them Use A Digital Device At An Early Age
Many kids under the age of 3 are already exposed to using a tablet or some other form of digital device as a method of learning. Many experts have had differing views regarding the use of technology with kids at an early age. But I believe the golden rule here is moderation.
Psychologist Dr Aric Sigman says that children need to have regular face to face contact in order to pick up the social skills that are vital for them being successful during their lives. He believes that if many hours a day are being displaced by looking at screens passively these skills may not develop as fully. And it could also have an effect on how children interact with each other.
Here’s what you should do:
Control and moderate the amount of time spent on digital devices. I advise less than 60 minutes a day. And make sure that he only uses it for educational purposes.
Mistake #3: Not Giving Him Time To Play Or Exercise
Bogging him down with too much tuition, after class activities (sometimes till late at night), even after all the homework, he receives from school, damages and limits his ability to learn and accept all the new information that he receives.
Walking or cycling regularly for between six months to a year can improve memory and problem-solving skills in children by between 15 and 20 percent, according to researchers.
They have shown that such exercise can also increase the size of crucial parts of the brain. The scientists have also discovered that children who are fit also tend to be better at multitasking and performing difficult mental tasks than unfit friends.
Professor Art Kramer, director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois, who led the research, said their findings could have major implications for improving children’s performance at school.
Here’s what you should do:
Set aside some time, at least, an hour, purely for outdoor activities. There are many sports that you can partake with your child. Badminton, football, basketball, just to name a few. This will also build his fitness and stamina other than just his cognitive abilities.
Also, brain games and activities that exercise his brain in a fun and healthy way can also give him the right training to develop a strong and effective mind.
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Mistake #4: Not Training Your Child To Pay Attention
Is your child easily distracted when he is doing his homework?
You find that he has difficulty staying on one task for longer than 15 minutes and every day… you have to constantly remind him to pay attention in school and at home.
However, no matter how many times you reminded him, he still commits silly careless mistakes in his homework at the end of the day.
Not only that… you find yourself having to constantly repeat what you have to say to him because his mind just seems to be somewhere else.
If you find yourself nodding to any of the statements above, chances are your child may have weak attentional abilities.
Popular to contrary belief, a child’s attention can be trained.
According to a study conducted by Meghan McClelland an associate professor at Oregon State University, preschool children who were rated high by their parents on attention and persistence had nearly a 50 percent greater chance of earning their bachelor’s degree by age 25.
One of the biggest objectives of proper cognitive development is ensuring that your child remains focused and attentive when completing homework or even when he’s in class.
Here’s what you should do:
1) Provide Clear Directions
Break assignments into small steps, and ask your child to repeat the directions. This will help your child with organizational and sequencing skills and ensure your directions are understood.
2) Set a Timer
A kitchen timer will help your child learn time-management skills. Knowing there is a time limit will remind children to redirect their wandering attention back to the task at hand. A timer also tells the child the task has an end, relieving them of the hopeless feeling that it will go on forever.
3) Monitor Your Behaviour
Children take cues from the adults around them. If you find yourself only half-paying attention to your child while checking email on your phone, be aware you are modelling this behaviour in front of your child.
And at our Brain First workshop, you’ll learn 4 more EFFECTIVE strategies that will solve the attention elements your child is weak in and once you’re able to pinpoint their weak points, you can fix them immediately and see results in a matter of weeks!
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Mistake #5: Too Much Stress
Before you continue reading this,
I want to stress that this is the worst of all the 5 bad mistakes I shared.
Especially in Singapore, too many kids are already so stressed out with high expectations from their parents and experience high competition in the class itself.
So please pay careful attention your child’s stress levels.
Like I mentioned before, many parents are now placing too much stress on their kids by sending them to excessive amounts of tuition. Some even send their kids to tuition just because they don’t want their kids to “lose out”.
**Don’t get me wrong, It’s not that tuition doesn’t work (many children have had massive help and success with tuition), I’m just saying that there is a fine balance between having enough and having too much. And excessive tuition is definitely harmful and affects your child’s academic ability.
This “tuition fixation” was also addressed by past Minister For Education, Mr. Heng Swee Kiat, and he even calls it “harmful”.
(Click here to read more)
Here’s what you should do:
Send him for just enough tuition and only if you think he really needs it. It would also be good to communicate your expectations to him clearly. Also, cognitive development will help him learn better and in turn, reduces the stress he experiences when doing homework.
But I’m sure another big reason why parents send their kids to tons of tuition is because their child usually gets bad grades in school. They might even get stuck on a question and start to lose concentration and ends up doodling on his book and loses interest in continuing.
The truth is…
It is not because their child is not smart.
It’s not even because he is “slow” or “takes time” to learn.
Or even because he is ill-disciplined or has behavioural issues.
Their child just has…
Poor Cognitive Abilities!
Cognitive abilities are the core foundation for all our learning functions. Without strong cognitive abilities, it will be almost impossible for us to understand something new.
And this is the root cause that most parents don’t understand.
Many just believe that feeding more content or even teaching their kids “mind mapping” will help them learn better or achieve better results. (These are just techniques and tactics that do not guarantee real results and sometimes makes it even more confusing for some children)
The truth is, without a strong foundation, your child will not be able to easily grasp new concepts and apply newly taught information.
What if I tell you that there is an easy scientific solution to develop and improve your child’s cognitive abilities?
In just 2 hours, you’ll be learning practical, and applicable, lessons and tips backed by proper scientific methods.
Don’t worry, we got rid of all the scientific jargon and made it easy for you to understand!
Not only that…
We’ll go through it in the workshop with demonstrations and examples… so you’ll be able to apply them RIGHT after you leave!
The lessons you learn here are designed for parents who are BOTH working. All you need is just 15 minutes after family dinner every day.
Wouldn’t that be something you would want to learn?
Here are just some of the things I’ll be covering…
– Understand the 3 Most CRUCIAL Cognitive Aspects of your child’s brain! You’ll spark his motivation to start studying… He’ll enjoy doing homework right after school and complete it without any difficulty whatsoever!
– Evaluate the 5 learning functions of a human brain and measure which areas your child is strong in! Your child will BOOST his learning ability almost immediately and do better in his upcoming mid-semester exam!
– Develop the 2 most important cognitive skills that will help your child learn more in a shorter period of time (Once he masters these 2 cognitive skills, he will be able to understand concepts much faster without you having to repeat the same thing to him over and over again)
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