Equip your children with the skills they need to grow into curious, self-directed adults who lead satisfying lives.
All kids start out as curious and self-directed; however, as they grow older, many become disengaged and unimaginative. The above four steps will help you inspire your children to explore the world around them and look for answers to their questions, instead of simply accepting whatever is told to them.
- Try DIY report cards.
At the start of each semester, ask your children to list their top learning goals. At the end of the semester, ask them to create their own report card, including a self-evaluation of their progress in terms of achieving the previously determined learning goals.
Then, ask them to compare it to the report card issued by their school. Where did they succeed? Where did they fall short? What more do they need to learn?
- Give your child an allowance and chores, but do not combine the two.
Do not turn your child’s allowance into a reward for completing chores, as this could cause your child to only do chores when there is a reward offered for it.
- Praise your child’s effort and strategy, not their intelligence.
Furthermore, give your child specific praise, and only when there is a good reason for it—clearly highlight what they’ve done that is noteworthy.
- Help your child see the big picture.
Encourage your child to understand the relevance of what they are learning. For example, if they are learning a new language, take them to a community center where they can practice speaking that language. If they are studying history, ask them to apply what they have learned to an event in the news.
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