This is a guest contribution by Alan Williamson from www.kingseca.com
Seeing children begin to attend toddler nursery is both an exciting and anxiety-inducing parenting moment. Not only are you witnessing your child gradually growing up into a good person, but you also realize that he’s taking one step closer to leaving the nest.
But while you’re busy dealing with your own emotions, you should know that it is also a period that produces mixed feelings in your child. While he may share your excitement, he might also feel a bit anxious and nervous inside. Both of these emotions, which can distract and overwhelm him, may cause him to develop poor study habits as a result.
If you think that your child is bottling up these emotions, it is time for you to take action. When doing so, it is vital that you talk to him about it openly so he can address the issues and build a stronger focus on studying his lessons.
To help your anxious child feel more comfortable in his studies, here are six tips you can try to help him develop good learning habits:
1. Adjust Your Own Attitude Towards Studying
Believe it or not, some parents may feel a sense of dread and dislike regarding some academic activities themselves, such as homework. However, you must understand that homework isn’t made to torture students and their parents. Rather, it is meant to help children practice their lessons at home and understand them better so they can perform well in class.
Adjusting your own attitude towards studying can get you one step closer to helping your child deal with his own academic battles better. Don’t consider doing homework as a chore. Instead, look at it as practice for what your child needs to do in school and beyond.
2. Be More Patient
When they are having trouble in school, children tend to become quieter and more withdrawn, especially if they are transitioning to a new environment. In some cases, your child may even question everything and show changes in his behavior that can be concerning.
This is normal, so be sure to extend your patience as much as possible. Keep in mind that your child is just reacting to the new phase in his life and may need some time to adjust. While you shouldn’t change your standards in terms of his attitude, you must try to understand first what he is going through before you react.
3. Transform Negative Thoughts into Positive Ones
Negative thoughts often plague young children when it comes to studying. However, if you help your child transform these into positive ideas, then he may find it easier to see the act of going to school in a more positive light.
Encouraging positive thinking in children helps them learn how to deal with pressure and stress as they get used to attending school. This can then help them grow up into adults who can adjust their way of thinking to focus on positive and productive thinking.
4. Assign a Study Area
Nursery classes are structured around the idea that children as young as two to three years old can absorb as much information as they can. This means that they should explore as much as they can to learn about the environment through their senses.
Still, children must perceive a certain structure in learning. This way, you help them focus on their studies and avoid distractions.
You can start by choosing a designated study area for your little one at home, like a specific corner in his bedroom. All you need is to set up a study table, a comfy chair, and a reading lamp. The key is to create a space that is well-lit, quiet, and low-traffic so your child can concentrate whenever he is within this space.
5. Give Him Something to Achieve
Goal setting is probably the most useful tool in almost any endeavor, especially in academics. To help your child adjust his mindset about studying, make sure to give him goals that he can achieve by the end of a period or academic year.
You can also create a reward system that is appropriate for his age. Then, create a chart to help yourself and your little one monitor how much he progresses in the tasks. You can give him stars or place smiley stickers on the chart whenever he completes his homework on his own or passes a quiz at school.
6. Build Confidence the Right Way
When boosting your child’s self-esteem, it is vital that you relate their success to the effort they put into achieving it, rather than the abilities they have. For example, instead of congratulating him on how well he can write, acknowledge how much effort he put into practicing the craft.
Doing so will teach your child that while having talent may be good, exerting effort to practice and become better still tops everything else. This will also ensure that he doesn’t get discouraged whenever he fails at an activity or exam.
The bottom line is that you have to establish a study culture that praises the effort exerted towards getting the results rather than just getting a positive outcome to any task.
Help Your Child Study Better
Studying hard is different from studying smart. As a parent, it is your duty to teach your child the difference between the two to help him build good learning habits that he can carry with him through the years.
Alan Williamson is the Chief Education Officer at Kings’ Education, a premium school brand in Dubai which leads a fantastic group of premium UK curriculum schools, including Child’s Play Nursery. As well as being passionate about teaching and learning, Alan has been actively involved in school leadership related to Special Educational Needs.