Dear Savvy Parent,
My kids complain that I am always asking them to study. They feel bored at home and with me. What should I do?
First of all, your children are all aged 10 and under. They are still very young. Why do they need to study so much? Constantly pushing them to study isn’t helpful at all. Some parents put way too much pressure on their children from an early age to succeed academically. I understand that in some countries this is considered to be a cultural norm, but as a teacher, I can tell you that pressure and constant study is NOT an effective method for learning, regardless of culture. Education should not be just about memorization and forced learning; it should be about understanding the material. Memorizing and understanding are two completely different concepts. It is important as parents and as educators to instill a love of learning without pressure. Learning shouldn’t and doesn’t have to be boring or tedious. Make it fun; be creative; make it into a game and most of all, be encouraging! Remember, a child is more successful when the experience is enjoyable.
Encouragement versus praise
Most parents enjoy praising their children with words like “Well done!” and “That looks great!” However, research shows that encouragement (not praise) has a more significant effect upon a child’s motivation. So what is the difference between praise and encouragement, you might ask. Though they sound like the same thing, they are not. The difference is that words of praise lead the child to rely on YOUR assessment of his or her accomplishments, while words of encouragement lead him or her to form THEIR OWN positive assessment of himself or herself. Examples of encouragement are: “Look at that drawing; I can tell you have spent lots of time on it. It must be a great feeling knowing you worked so hard on it,” or “It didn’t work out the way you planned, did it? I can tell you are upset about it, but it’s okay. I know you will try again next week. What could you do differently next time?”
Next, you say your children feel bored at home and with you. Do you spend time with your children just having fun? If not, set some time out in the day and spend some quality time with your kids, as a family. Have fun, play with them or do something with them that they enjoy. One of the best and most obvious things about spending quality time with your children is developing stronger and positive relationships with them. Be sure that both parents also spend individual time with each child. This will help build memories as well as trust. This is an integral part of having a healthy family dynamics as well as happy children. The benefits are endless, so set aside one-on-one, quality time with your kids.
Quality Time Ideas- What Does It Look Like?
- Cook or bake together.
- Play sports.
- What are their hobbies? Do some with them.
- Have a family movie or games night (age-appropriate, of course).
- Go on a bike ride or walk together.
- Read a book together; this works great for younger children.
- Make a craft or start a project together.
These are just seven of the hundreds of things you can do together. Start making quality time for each child. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make!
Insha’Allah I hope this helps. Happy Parenting!
The Savvy Parent