How to teach a child courage
Learning, promoting, stimulating
Children learn a lot all by themselves
They learn many of the basic skills that babies and toddlers master from a certain point in time on their own. Whether seeing, hearing or speaking, whether crawling, sitting or running - a child makes all these developmental steps as well as by itself.
Supportive interventions from outside are not necessary; a somewhat "normal" environment in which people can speak and there is space to move around is perfectly adequate for this. These skills are part of a person's maturation, which occurs on a biologically established schedule.
But human development is two-pronged. In addition to maturation, development comes into play, which is dependent on experience. This ensures that children can find their way around their respective surroundings.
Geographically - from the desert to the Arctic. Cultural - from the child of South American corn farmers to the offspring of Japanese computer experts. And also socially - as an only child in a millionaire family or as the sixth son of a single parent without a job. In this area of development, encouragement and targeted learning are possible in moderation.
Babies don't need playmates just yet
Discovering yourself and your environment is exciting enough for babies. They usually don't need a tutorial to develop their skills. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be engaging with your child in different ways.
There are many possibilities: baby swimming, massage courses, crawling groups or participation in a PEKiP course (Prague Parent-Child Program), where play, movement and the senses of babies are stimulated.
The effect of such courses is rather small: even without PEKiP, children learn to crawl and walk. And through a three-week holiday by the sea, a previously water-shy elementary school child can reach the same swimming level as his classmate, who has been in the pool every Saturday morning since the age of three.
The focus of such activities should be fun in the time that children and parents spend together.
It becomes problematic when there is competition among parents in such courses or pressure is built up - whether consciously or unconsciously. Who can turn around alone? Who is taking the first steps? This can particularly unsettle parents, whose babies may be a little slower in their development.
Contact and closeness to people of the same age do not initially play a role. In the first year of life, a baby is not interested in other babies. He does not make friends and does not need other infants to test social behavior or learn skills. The parents are completely sufficient for him as a caregiver.
In the second year of life, the contact with other children on the side-by-play and occasional well-Have-Want limited. During this time, the first friendships can develop, but these are often quickly resolved.
Pay attention to the child's interests
For small children, even more applies than for young people and adults: Learning has to be fun. If activities and experiences are associated with positive memories, they are easier to memorize.
If a child sees no sense and is not interested, they will only reluctantly (if at all) deal with Chinese or computer science - and quickly forget what they have learned or not even remember.
Parents should be very responsive to their child's interests and preferences. If he paints and draws enthusiastically, but has no interest in music, you shouldn't necessarily send him to piano lessons - even if that's the mother's big dream.
In general, one should be careful in kindergarten age not to overwhelm the child with early intervention courses. Child psychologists emphasize again and again that the basis for social interaction and personal development is laid, especially at this age.
Kindergarten children sharpen their senses, discover their bodies and their emotions, experience the environment and have to learn to find their way in a group. That in itself is a large and important program that is more decisive for "success in life" than acquiring first computer skills or learning a foreign language as early as possible.
Foreign languages already in kindergarten?
The topic of foreign languages in preschool age has been the subject of controversial discussion for years. It has been scientifically proven that it is particularly easy for children of this age to learn a foreign language. For this, however, it has to be constantly present and also grab the child emotionally.
This works very well for parents with two different mother tongues who consistently speak to their child in one language. The Spanish teacher who comes to kindergarten on Thursday afternoons, on the other hand, can hardly do more than arouse some interest in the language.
Even a bilingual kindergarten in which an educator speaks English consistently cannot guarantee linguistic learning success. If English is not an active language at home, what you have learned is quickly forgotten. And if the child has no emotional attachment to the teacher and this may even refuses, it will also find no pleasure in the language.
In the opinion of many child educators, reading, writing and arithmetic are also not part of the regular program of kindergartens, but should be reserved for the school.
In the long run, it makes no difference whether a child learns these skills at the age of five or seven. This knowledge can usually be acquired quickly and easily later.
Older children as role models and teachers
Studies show that children learn particularly well from older children and that they are taught the social skills.
Psychologists have observed that older children who play with younger children subconsciously build "development bridges". The younger ones have to "stretch and stretch" physically, emotionally and mentally in order to cope with this.
And the older children also benefit from playing with the younger ones. They are more creative and suddenly design simple games that they have already mastered and are no longer interested in, suddenly more imaginative.
Psychologists and educators appear to be particularly suitable for child development in mixed-age groups of children. A child can take on various social roles there: from the newcomer, who is one of the smallest and weakest, it automatically becomes bigger and smarter in the course of time.
In contrast, groups of the same age are more static. Once you have found or been assigned your place in the social structure there, you will usually keep it for years.
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