Tips for new-age parents

Understanding Parents should encourage their children to do their best, but at the same time, be willing to accept that giving their best may not always reap the desired results.

Parents love their children and want the best for them. But as no two individuals are the same, their parenting styles also cannot be the same. Parenting style of an individual depends upon the environment and upbringing.

When parents have different parenting styles, children don’t get the consistency they need while growing. It can be quite challenging when a couple can’t agree on how to modify their child’s behaviour or decide which values are most important and need to be instilled in their child. However, the silver lining is that if the partners discuss their positions, decisions, and concerns, they can raise well-adjusted children and in the process, children too learn to discuss and solve problems peacefully.

Here are some parenting tips which every new-age parent must keep in mind in order to raise confident and well-equipped children.

Inculcate love for reading: As parents, we try to inculcate good habits in our children from an early age. Similarly, the habit of reading should be instilled in your children, right from their early development years. Reading has several benefits for children. It leaves a lasting impact on their young, impressionable minds. Exposing your children to the world of books improves their imagination and creativity. Children who read are more likely to have a focused attention span, better grasping power and enhanced memory.

Parents should encourage their children by setting an example. When children see parents reading, they are likely to follow suit. 

Let children learn at their own pace: Children learn better when they are actively involved in their own learning process. Parents should act as facilitators to aid and assist children. When children feel controlled, they often withdraw from learning. It is important to guide children through the learning process and allow them to take control of their own learning experience.

Moreover, when children learn in their own way and at their own pace, they learn the best. Therefore, parents must give opportunities for children to chart their own learning process. Parents should allow children to choose their own extracurricular activities. The more control children are given in their learning process, the more they get motivated to learn.

Cultivate their passions: Children have dreams, desires and interests, just like everyone else. Usually, these interests and passions determine when and how they learn. When learning engages children in areas and subjects of interest, learning becomes fun. Moreover, children connect with learning that is relevant to their interests.

Parents should encourage their children to explore topics and subjects that fascinate them. Although parents may have certain expectations when it comes to activities that are deemed appropriate for children, they should be given some freedom to cultivate their interests as well. Children’s interests and natural curiosity pave the way for learning which opens their minds to knowledge and new experiences.

Encourage different learning styles: Each one of us perceive information in a different manner. Children have varied learning preferences and styles. Some follow one dominant learning style while others prefer using a mix of styles.

Parents need to be aware of what works for their child and what doesn’t when it comes to learning. There are seven fundamental learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Verbal, Physical, Logical (mathematical), Social and Solitary. For young children, it is important to explore and use different types of learning styles in order to understand their preferred style(s) of learning.

Focus on learning, not on performance: Focusing on performance can hinder learning in children. They often feel that their parents, teachers and peers will think highly of them if they perform better. But, instead of helping them perform better, it takes away their focus from learning thus hampering their performance. Parents should encourage their children to do their best, but at the same time, be willing to accept that giving their best may not always reap desired results.  

Engage in game-based learning: Using games as learning aids is not a new concept. It is an advantageous and highly-effective way to teach different skills to children. Game-based learning also teach children life skills like collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking, etc. Moreover, using games as a learning source motivates and engages children.

Celebrate achievements: It is important to recognise and celebrate your child’s achievements. Acknowledgement of efforts takes a child from being a passive learner to becoming an engaged and self-motivated learner. It plays a significant role in developing their self-
esteem and overall personality. Continuous and consistent positive reinforcement will build confidence in children.

There are several ways through which parents can praise children. It can be in the form of words of encouragement or a small token of appreciation to show that you care.  Children learn the most by what we do and how we behave. Apart from all these suggestions, it is necessary for every parent to be a positive role model for children.

Thus, giving children the solid foundation they need to develop into well-rounded individuals.

(The writer is founder director of Shemford & Shemrock group of schools)

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