Reading and Learning.
All parents wish for their own children to be more educated and successful than they ever were. It comes naturally for parents to want their kids to study hard, have good grades and read a lot. However, in order to make this wish come true, parents need to think about how to motivate their kids to intrinsically enjoy learning activities.
The first step towards creating intrinsic motivation begins with you learning about your children’s interests. Every child is interested in something, it’s just harder to find out what that is in some cases. Keep learning yourself while trying out some of these tips to make your kids love intellectual activities more than anything else.
Make reading fun
Reading is a necessarily dull activity for children, so you shouldn’t expect them being born with the urge to read. In order to make them truly enjoy reading, you need to set an imaginative context that can help them see all the benefits reading has to offer. You can start by teaching them to read their favourite bed-time story. Because they probably already know the story by heart, you can show them how to recognize words and letters that represent the plot. It’s important to help them realize that reading is a weapon of imagination that promotes abstract thinking. Furthermore, it’s crucial for you to know that reading isn’t a skill that you finish learning during the first grade of elementary school, but rather a skill that continues developing throughout your life. As Mark Twain would say, the one who won’t read has no advantage over the one who can’t.
Create a learning atmosphere
Children love to play and this play-game is essential to their development, so you shouldn’t take that away from them to press in some boring studies. Instead, make learning a game and help them discover that learning is a fun process. Human beings need to learn in order to survive, so there’s no need to make this adaptive activity seem dull and hard. The best way for children to learn is to group them and give them a task to work on together. As soon as they turn 4, they are capable of group play and will want to spend more time with their peers. Having a leading teacher figure is very important, so signing them up for some courses at a reliable learning centre will help you get the full package. Not only do these centres have a variety of art and science classes to choose from but they are also organized in such a manner that your kids can learn something new every day and enjoy it with their friends and teachers.
Show them why knowledge is valuable
When you tell your 5-year-old the story about how you studied hard and thus got a job, a house etc., they won’t be very impressed. Children know people have jobs and houses, but what they don’t know is that knowledge can be used in order to create a better world for them and for the people they love as well. You can start teaching them the value of knowledge by giving positive reinforcement every time they learn something new and tell you about it. This principle comes from educational psychology and it’s called Premack’s principle. Basically, you tell your child: “If you learn something new today, you can watch a cartoon”. The idea is that the less desirable activity will stick to one’s behaviour if another, more desirable activity comes after. Any kind of positive reinforcement has shown great results in helping children learn self-discipline and start enjoying studying.
Help them explore the world
In the end, keep in mind that keeping your kids safe and sound all the time won’t do them much good. Children are curious and they have an exploring need which can easily be lost if you don’t encourage them to explore more. You can (and should) be by their side as they do so, and this goes for teenagers as much as for toddlers. Exploration is the key to opening one’s views and helping them look at the world from a critical point of view and find solutions to problems that otherwise might not have even been noticed.
Be there for your children all the way and serve as a role model who makes learning the best activity in the world. Take them to science shows, festivals and other exploring activities. If they enjoy it, then you can consider your parenting well done.