In an earlier blog, you saw how your child will learn to read for herself, even if all you do is read to her. Crucial to this is allowing her to choose the books she wants to hear and letting her explore them on her own as well. Once you’ve read a book to her, if she likes it enough she’ll want to hear it again. When she’s heard it often enough, amazingly, she’ll use it to teach herself how to read!
This principle applies to every aspect of learning. Learning what you’re interested in is enjoyable. I sincerely believe that schools and their teachers are doing the best they can to provide a good education, but forcing reluctant students to study is guaranteed to succeed in putting most kids off, or at least make them feel inadequate.
To give them the best chance, children’s interest must be engaged. You need to notice, and you need to get interested in the same things, and then you need to get involved. Not take over! – just get involved, letting her lead the way. This doesn’t mean you should ignore your own interests; but it does mean that part of what interests you is her flowering as a unique individual in the context of your family to start with, and in the wider community, including her school, as she gets older.
Our job as parents is to provide support. “Our” children are not our property! We must allow them to own themselves. We can make suggestions while letting them make the decisions which are going to affect their own lives.
Imagine how proud you’re going to feel when your child gets recognised at school or university, in the local paper in a review of an amateur dramatic or musical performance, or local sporting event. Imagine her achieving things you were never able to achieve, knowing that through your wisdom, you chose to give her the opportunity to shine – not because you gave her a good “polishing” (an old-fashioned term for an old-fashioned concept), but in her own light.
Hold her interests and personal strengths in your mind. Think of what would make you feel proud of her when she’s grown up and making her own mark in the world. Focus on all the feelings you want to feel when she’s older. Imagine yourself into these feelings every day.
We’ll be looking at feelings in a future blog, but you can get immediate access to the Free report I’ve adapted this article from by clicking here.