PlayFACTO School’s Positive Education method teaches students to flourish intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically. We are all about about developing our students’ sense of well-being and nurturing their resilience!
What can you practice at home with your children?
1. Take an interest in what they are learning & encourage special interests.
Many studies have shown that children learn more effectively when adults engage them in everyday activities that are based on their interests. Recently, researchers at the CECLL compared 41 studies (which included over 4000 children altogether) and found that children had better communication and language outcomes when their interests were included into everyday learning activities. This was true for both children with and without communication delays and disabilities . The researchers explain that including children’s interests is more likely to:
- motivate children to interact, and interact for longer
- provide parents with more opportunities to promote their child’s communication
Research has also shown that :
- many of infants’ first words relate to specific, motivating situations and activities
- toddlers and older preschoolers’ language learning is often tied to specific events and activities
The bottom line is that when caregivers talk about children’s interests during motivating everyday activities, children are more likely to interact, pay attention, and learn new words.
2. Celebrate who they are, not just what they achieve.
Almost everyone has heard of “praise children for their efforts instead of their intelligence”. However, we should also emphasize praising children for being themselves! Teaching them to love themselves and not just their achievements can help foster high self esteem that lasts a lifetime.
3. Show them how to master challenges and overcome frustrations with an optimistic approach.
Contrary to popular belief, most children are not born immutably optimistic or pessimistic. While some kids may automatically lean more in one direction than the other, a positive outlook can generally be taught. Parents must, however, take the right approach: Arguing with your child or scolding her when she’s being negative will invariably do more harm than good. Instead, you should guide your child gently, using the strategies below:
- Put empathy first. Pessimistic children are so prone to judging themselves negatively that they very quickly feel criticized by others, too. As such, it’s extremely important that you respond with empathy immediately any time your child experiences a setback. To do this effectively, you’ll need to validate your child’s feelings rather than dismissing them. All too often, well-meaning parents try to comfort their child by saying things like, “Don’t worry, it’s not really a big deal,” not understanding that minimizing their child’s emotions makes her feel misunderstood and brushed off. Instead, you should tell your child that you can see she’s frustrated and upset, and that’s perfectly okay. Once your child has accepted her feelings, she’ll have a much easier time accepting—and forgiving—herself. After she has calmed down, you can start brainstorming solutions to the problem at hand.
- Encourage your child to take a “time out” when she’s feeling frustrated. Pessimistic kids tend to dwell on their failures when left to their own devices. Fortunately, short-circuiting this loop of negative thinking is sometimes as easy as providing your child with some respite and distraction (particularly if your child is quite young). Offering your child a hug, telling her a joke, bringing her a snack or a drink, or inviting her to come do something fun with you can often take her mind off whatever has upset her. What’s more, distancing your child from the problem for a little while can help her keep it in proper perspective.
- Confront your child’s black-and-white thinking. All children are prone to seeing situations as “all or nothing,” but this trait is especially problematic for pessimistic kids. To a pessimistic child, a lack of immediate and total success is tantamount to failure. If a kid with a negative outlook falls off her bike several times in a row, for example, she’s likely to assume she’s simply unable to ride… Even if she’s managed to pedal a little farther with each subsequent attempt.
At PlayFACTO school, we use all these methods and more to help students to flourish intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically!
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