Facts on School-Aged Children

I was asked by my colleague to help her in one talk show about children development, to be her partner. She’s the one who would do all the talking, and I will help her to answer questions from parents, as participants. During the talk show, I caught some interesting facts about school-aged children nowadays. Following are the description:

1. The responsibility has been transferred into parents/caregivers.

When children go to school, parents tend to worry excessively. This weariness due to their own pride and demands toward their children. Parents want the best for their children, and that’s a good thing. This ideal goal can brings children down when parents push to do it their way, and not allowing the children to be part of that ideal plan. Parents then control everything in order to sort things out quicker, compare to what their children can do. For example: when children haven’t finished writing down their diary for that day, parents will make the call to their children’ classmate and busily completing the information on homework and tests. This conditioning will make children learn that the responsibility of completing school work can be done by their parents/caregivers.

2. Children learn the self-helplessness strategy.

Following the first description, children will learn the self-helplessness strategy, in which, children will not do anything to help themselves. It could be started by small activity, such as: sharpen their pencils, writing down their diary or tidy-up their books after studying. And by the the time, this condition will be applied to more important activities, such as: being ignorance during studying time, because children think that everything will be handled by their parents. They do not need to think and analyze their math problems, because whenever they can’t do the problems, parents will give the answers, because parents want them to finish their homework soon.

3. Parents create a cranky and want-instant-success generation.

Children will soon lose their capability to fight harder in their future and they will find it hard to measure success objectively. They will be very dependent toward their parents in whatever they are doing, including completing their responsibility as students or adults, in later life. I remember when I was a child, my Dad was very hard on me. He used to watch me when I was doing my homework. He disliked any help given to me, from my mom or caregiver. I was not understand his motive at that time, but later on I become very grateful for that. When I told my relative about that experiences, she said that my Dad is an old-school (well, he is). She said that nowadays if parents do not help their children in compleying their school works, then the children will not get any awards at school, because all of their classmates are getting help. I wonder …

Parents have to work harder to fight the needs of themselves to show off through their children. Children have their own future and ways to gain their success. Parents need to guide their children, but minus their dictate ways to their children on doing things.

Way to go, parents!

Meaningful Learning

One parent came to see me a few days ago. She complained about her youngest daughter who always refused to learn on numbers and alphabets. She said that she had tried many ways to help her daughter catch up with the school lessons.

Her daughter is not a slow learner and she does not have any indications of having problems with her motor skills, gross and fine. She can do beading, coloring and pasting very well for her biological age (3 years and 3 months old). She has ability to make friends with others, from different classes at school or different age groups. She’s not afraid to perform a song in front of the class even though she can’t remember the lyrics well. She hates TV but she loves to watch family videos. She can remember the story or the events that she watch from the video, then she will re-tell the story for the whole family.

But … her teacher complains about her behaviors in the class. She does not want to sit still and listen attentively, even though at the end of the week she had a good report form (because she can finish her worksheets and hands-on activities). She also known as one who always checking on her friends’ new hair clips! (for me it’s just a normal activity for a 3-yo girl)…

Anyway, we had chat and I can conclude some points:

1. Her little girl only interested in any activities that has meaning for her and not abstracts (appropriate with her developmental stage).

2. She is not a type of girl who is living her life very academically. So, she won’t bother with anything smells so academia.

3. She’s having a great life with her family and friends. And that’s all that she cares about…

Then, we were making some ways that can be done by that young mother:

1. Create an atmosphere of meaningful learning. So, in order to make a child understands the concept of numbers and alphabets, mother needs to make a story board or attractive number/alphabet boards. Then, teach her daughter using stories, because she can remember story very well. For example, prepare or print out a picture of a mother cat and 5 kittens. Start a story about a mother cat who is protecting her kittens. Ask child to start counting. At the end, mother can ask the child to write the numbers down as exercise.

2. Whenever a child can remember an alphabet, give stickers with connecting pictures (Apple for A) as a reward. Ask a child to collect the stickers in a special stickers book.

3. Treat a child as a human being and not half-adult. A child can enjoy her part of being a child and also learn to be responsible for her life. She needs to know what life is like from her parents. She won’t be able to grasp any abstracts concepts at her stage now.

Hope our session help …

Another lesson learned!