How can I motivate my son to learn? He is such a lazy boy. I’ve tried the hard and gentle ways, none works. He won’t learn if I am not around.
Can you tell me how to make my daughter enjoy learning?
I’m confused. What should I do to make my children independent in doing their homework? Im at all wits.
Our children often times would avoid the word learning. Why? Because most of the time their experience with learning is not a pleasant one but scary or painful.
They associate learning with punishment or verbal abuse. No wonder they wish to stay away and hate learning. As parents, do you also experience the same thing when you are young? If you nodded your head in agreement, then we need to create a wonderful and pleasant learning experience for our children.
According to the description above, the learning problem is not in the ability but in perception. Many years of experience as a counselor also confirmed that most problems are related to perception instead of ability. In general, it is far more important to encourage children to enjoy learning rather than having high achievement. Children who are force to learn might have high achievement but it would only last for a short period of time. Whereas children who like learning would eventually develop themselves and this would certainly has positive effect to their future success. The remaining question is how to develop a wonderful and pleasant learning experience for our children.
There are several tips that parents can exercise while accompanying their children in learning:
1. Be a good role model.
First of all, children need a role model. If you want your children to enjoy learning, make sure you have positive habit of learning as well, like reading or discussing. It would be hard to demand your children to learn when you prefer to watch TV. It would be a good idea that during study time, parents would not watch the TV.
2. Be positive and supportive parents.
It is fairly important for every parents to check if they have been positive and supportive to their children. If you spend more time to complain, criticize and scold your children in their study, then they would the the impression that you have negative attitude toward them. No wonder they also develop negative attitude toward you and the lessons. Focus your words on positive development on your children and not the otherway around. Give encouraging words, praises or even presents as soon they showed any sign of improvement.
3.Help your children to choose the most appropriate time to learn.
Never ask your children to study when they are tired, sleepy or angry. Low physical condition and high emotion are bad for concentration. The same principle also apply when they have just come home from school or play. Give them some time to adjust their body, eyes and heart to enter the suitable state of learning. After afternoon nap or bath would be an appropriate time to study. However each child might be different to others.
4. Create a pleasant learning atmosphere at home.
Based on researches, the brain would optimally functions in pleasant and fun atmosphere. Therefore we should create such atmosphere for our children. Don’t let them to study on the bed, but set a special place for learning, since bed would be perceived by the body as a place to sleep so no wonder instead of learning the children would effortlessly fall asleep there. Make sure the study desk is pleasant and have enough lighting. Soft music would also contribute to help children to study.
5. Identify your children learning style.
Please check the learning style of your children, whether he/she is AUDITORY (learning by listening), VISUAL (learning by seeing) or KINESTHETIC (learning by doing). If your children are studying with unsuitable style, they would have difficulty in understanding the material. Don’t force them to study by disregarding their unique learning style.
6. Provide breaks in learning.
Rather than pushing your children to study for an hour straight, it would be best to give a short break every 20 minutes, because most children could only concentrate for 20 minutes. 1-2 minutes break would help them regain their concentration.
7. Help your children to obtain a taste of success in doing their works.
Children that have obtained this feeling would be motivated to learn. If they feel the otherwise; feeling incapable or stupid; then they would cease to learn. How as parents can we instill this feeling of success to our children? When accompanying your children to study, ask them to work on easier questions first. They would be motivated to answer the next questions. Then how about the difficult ones? The principle is still the same. Assist them to obtain successful experience in dealing with the difficult questions. After several attempts they would have enough confidence to tackle the hardest questions.
Hamizar, M.Si., Psi.
IPEKA Counseling Center