Help your child reach their full intellectual potential by avoiding these seemingly helpful but often harmful parenting habits!
It's natural for parents to want to make sure their child has every advantage when it comes to education. This doesn't only mean putting them in good schools, but guiding them to be the best learners they can be to secure a bright future.
Are there times when you worry that your child is a bit slow on the uptake?
There are actually things that appear to be helpful that can hinder your child's intellectual development. If you want your child to learn more quickly, stop doing these 10 things.
1. Doing everything for them
No parent wants to see their kid have a hard time. But allowing them to struggle is sometimes necessary. For instance, opening a sealed jar for them after they've only tried to open it once, or finishing a particularly challenging homework exercise for them. These little things can deprive them of a learning opportunities.
2. Buying them anything they want
You work hard to provide for them, but it's important to teach them the difference between wants and needs. Not buying everything they want, even if you have the means to, provides them with something more valuable: the chance to learn not to base happiness on material things and that their parents' love should not only be associated with being showered with presents.
3. Providing too many options
Though everything at this generation's fingertips, having too many options can cause them to become overwhelmed and indecisive. For instance, you're at a toy store and you instruct them to pick out one toy they want. Having all the choices can cause them to become withdrawn and you might end up choosing for them. Make it easier by offering a few choices--within a certain budget, for instance--but still allowing them to make the decision.
4. Making decisions for them
If you are always in a rush and are in the habit of deciding for your child, take a step back and think if this would deprive them of lessons worth learning.
It can be as simple as ordering for them at a restaurant when they're taking too long. Be patient and let them verbalize what they want. This builds their decision-making skills as well as their communication skills.
5. Allowing them to be lazy readers
Not nurturing a love for reading and learning can be harmful to their development. Reading will be a huge part of their academic lives and it will become more difficult if they grow up without a good reading habit. They don't have to be voracious readers; they just have to be willing enough to sit quietly and finish a short story or a few chapters without reaching for the nearest gadget or remote control.
Make reading fun by easing them into it. Don't pressure them. You can try having a side-by-side reading time to make it a fun bonding experience for the family.
6. Allowing them to skip chores
Learning isn't just nurtured by reading and going to school, it's also fostered through activities that require diligence and patience. Chores build a child's self-esteem and sense of helpfulness. Don't neglect the power of training them to pick up after themselves or to help out at home.
7. Allowing too much screen time
It no longer needs to be said that kids who spend most of their time in front of TV and gadgets tend to be more passive and anti-social. Once they shift from digital to actual books, they can tend to feel bored and disinterested, keeping them from learning how to focus on lessons that are mere words on a page, as opposed to the vibrant visuals they've gotten used to.
8. Keeping them from joining sports or activities
Intelligence can also be nurtured through socio-emotional ways. Allowing your child to engage in sports or other activities that require interaction or teamwork helps build their self-confidence as well as their communication and collaboration skills.
These can also teach them how to relate to other human beings and how to adapt and treat them with kindness and consideration, as well as the skills needed to establish friendships.
9. Not setting fair boundaries
It doesn't need to be stressed that limits and rules are essential to raising disciplined kids. But it's also important to remember that these boundaries also help kids feel a sense of stability and security.
Setting fair and realistic boundaries helps them grow into more intelligent and responsible adults. Yes, they may defy these rules from time to time, but this only makes it all the more important.
10. Letting them win all the time
Allowing them to experience failure can provide even more lasting lessons than winning ever can. It may be a struggle to let them win just to see them happy and to avoid the drama that comes with a child's frustration, but teaching them how to work hard and fight fair makes winning sweeter.
In sports, for instance, stopping them from playing just because you're scared they'll lose can keep them from learning to strive and to fight, even at the risk of failing.
Failure is a part of life, so it's best to equip them with the emotional and mental skills to cope with it at a young age. It's important to acknowledge their effort and to remind them that it's all a part of the learning process and that win or fail, you'll be rooting for them all the way.