You have been at home with the young ones. If you are an active parent, you know how challenging it can be to help the children cope up with their studying.
To win, you must designate a space as a home office and study room. This is what I have done.
I designated a room. I called it the study room/home office. In case you have many rooms in your house, designate the living room as the study room from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. No television. No noise. Anyone who comes to the living room is coming to work or study or read a book. Remove the television from the power code.
Have a timetable. Specify what the children must do, at what time. My timetable is such that children have breaks every 45 minutes. They run or play or mop or they go to the kitchen to help. This is the time to lay their bed or bring me breakfast. They are learning academics and life skills. It is also a good strategy for children to learn. They have a short concentration span. Short breaks help them make noise, run around and exercise to release that energy. When they come to resume after 15 -20 minutes, they are in a good positive mood. Remember, no child can learn well when they are stressed or tired.
What are the 6-Rs of winners?
Teach your children to be resourceful. They must help with house chores. Do not let them see and ignore dirty things – clothes, sitting room, or plates. You must inculcate in them values of paying attention to detail. Of there is no one in the room, they must be conscious to put the light off. Never to jump out of their bed without first laying them. They must always keep their hair combed or done. They must have clean clothes.
Resourcefulness is critical for success in life. They should be made to learn how to prepare meals. It is a challenge, but this is what training and empowering children is all about – resourcefulness.
When you teach a child a value or principle, they should never forget. Like computers, every individual has a temporary memory and permanent memory. You must train your brains to store things in the permanent memory, or else the brain will keep them in temporary memory and as you get more information, whatever is in the temporary memory gets overwritten and therefore lost.
For information to go into the children or your permanent memory, you must teach your brain to keep it there through a process called repetition. If you want something to stay in your permanent memory, read/ practice/ look at it again and again and again and again. That is the only known technique of winner. Once you keep doing or practising or reading something, again and again, the brain learns that it is critical to you and therefore keeps it in the permanent memory. That is why if you live with your parents, you cannot forget their names just as you cannot forget the names of your relatives. The brain is trained to keep them in permanent memory because you look at them often. Once the data is written on your permanent memory, it is difficult for it to get erased!
As you train the children, keep going back to the things you taught the previous days so that the brain keeps them. Do not get tired of doing repetitions.
The art of never giving up. The best way to teach resilience is games and other physical exercises. Whether it is press-ups or running uphill, challenge the children to go an extra mile and anytime they say they are tired, push them harder. Do not let them to just relax, otherwise, they will get used to an easy life.
I always tell them words like grit, never giving up, the body can get tired, but the soul and heart cannot so always use your heart NOT the brain and body. When you feel your body is tired, it has just used only 40% of its capacity, always tap into the other 60% to win, this is according from the book, Goggins, a great resilience trainer.
These kinds of words help young children to aim higher and train their body to be resilient. The world is not for easy people. So do not make it easy for the young ones. If you give them food, make sure they exercise such that they sweat. And after that, push them harder. But do not break them! Remember, to have them medically tested in case of any underlying condition that could cause challenges and quickly gasps for breath!
Children should learn to reflect: is this the right thing to do? How will my parents, elders and teachers see me? Such consciousness is critical for winning. Always challenge them to ask why? Since you will not be with them all the time, they need to be learnt self-control and personal discipline.
This means, teach them some sort of values. That is why religion is good for the young ones. Let them decide after they reach 18 years. Anchor their upbringing against some values along religious lines Christian or Muslim, it is ok. All of them do not condone killing or indiscipline.
If you call the child, they should response properly by answering yes, daddy or mum or teacher, etc. You do not want children who are slow to respond, or they do not respond at all. That is bad parenting.
You need children who can ‘get ashamed’ so that they are challenged to do better. If you instruct the children to do something that is good, they should respond by trying so that you see the gaps where they may need help!
Remember, to train your children to listen and be responsive. You do not want to call the name of your child three or four times and they keep quiet even when they have heard you. Such is indiscipline and is not good parenting.
This is common sense, which is not common. Teach your children logic. Do not just instruct them, tell them the reason why you ask them to do something.
Do not say, bath.
Tell them, make sure you bathe so that your body does not smell.
Make sure you brush your teeth regularly so that you stay clean.
Tell them life realities so that they have few questions understanding your instructions. That is logic.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.