7 ways to leverage your child’s innate eagerness to learn

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If you are a parent of a kindergarten kid (3 to 6 years old), you already know what a brilliant age it is to learn new things, and what a pleasure it is to see their power of cognition and learning enhance manifold! Here are a few ways in which you can leverage your child’s innate eagerness to learn, and teach them what you want to teach them:-1. Teach by RepetitionNotice how your child wants to touch, taste, smell, hear and test everything for himself – and does so repeatedly. So, while feeling indulgent, remember that at this age, children learn everything by repeating their experiences. Hence, if you want your child to learn something, please offer them a REPEAT experience of the same until they really get it under their skin. You will know it when they begin to get bored by it. That’s your clue to know that the child has learnt this particular behavior/lesson through its own experience. Remember, no amount of ‘telling’ works as well as ‘experiencing’ something does – especially for kindergarten kids.2. Keep things at the child’s eye levelIf you keenly observe your child you will notice that their short stature makes them notice and explore all things close to the ground. Perhaps it is your clue to keep whatever you wish them to notice, closer to the ground. How about fixing some low shelves on which you can keep what you want them to play with or learn from?

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3. Give the child something to concentrate uponAt this age, your child has an immense capability to concentrate on the task that s/he loves. They can get so focused that they tune out all external sounds, and often don’t hear what you are saying to them. So, if you make them sit in front of a TV or a computer they will stay glued to it for hours – much to their detriment – and not hear a word of what you might have said to them. However, you can use this inherent trait to your - and their - advantage by giving them something that they genuinely enjoy. You will have to observe your child to know what s/he enjoys.4. Feed the child’s curiosityKindergarten kids are very curious about what other people are doing. So, if you want your child to do something start doing it yourself. They also notice when others do things differently from what their own family does. So, if there is something that others do but you don’t, perhaps you can tell them why and how people are different; and how it is okay to be different.5. Offer deep listeningIf you carefully listen to your child, (they are so talkative that you don’t have to do much but lend your ears), you will learn that s/he has original new ideas and a new worldview – yes, even at this young age! Offer them the gift of your interested listening. Ask relevant questions.

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6. Match your child’s zest for lifeYou will notice that your child likes to try out new things; in any case everything is new and exciting for them. Your challenge lies in matching their zest for life. It helps if you do something new yourself so that you can enter your child’s world of possibilities. This need not be a big thing; perhaps drawing doodles and colouring them may be new for you. The idea is that you must be as excited about your task as your child is.7. Answer honestlyWhether you like it or not, your kid is going to ask you a lot of questions, as they are exceptionally inquisitive about their surroundings and everyday events. Most of their sentences will start with ‘why, what, where, when, and how?’ (How and why are their most favourite words.) Be sure to answer them as honestly and as simply as you can. If you don’t know the answer admit it. Let the child learn that it is okay not to have all the answers; and that parents too are learning just as they are. This honesty will put your child at a special level with you. Such a child will develop great trust in you. And as you grow as parents, you will realize that TRUST is the most valued quality in parenting.

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And best of all ENJOY YOUR CHILD. This time will not come back.