Sometimes children see elders as superheroes. To them we are this sort of strong super skilled people (specially dads), that know everything!
The reality is that all of us, human beings on this planet, have started from the same state of "not-knowingness". We had to learn everything from scratch.
Taking some time to talk to your children and help them understand that we too didn't know how to do anything when we were born, gives them a more realistic picture of how the learning process works and how they too will be skillful in many things when they grow up!
Learning something new can seem overwhelming for small children. I noticed this when my boy was trying to ride his bike without training wheels. When I so his frustration on the first day, it occurred to me to create what I call the " 7 DAYS OF LEARNING" process. This implies that for every new thing we want to learn, we give at least 7 days of practice to achieve it. The method surprisingly works wonders! So I want to share it with you.
Here's an example of how it works: Imagine Pierre ( a 5-6 year old boy) wanting to ride his bike with no training wheels for the first time. One afternoon he tells me most of his friends already know how to ride their bikes, so he wants to do it too. I say: "OK! great idea!"
We put on some sneakers and take the bike to the park. Pierre tries to get on it and falls almost instantly, he picks it up and tries again, he falls, and then one more time with no success. Dissapointed he looks at me saying: "I can't do it mom. I don't know how to ride a bike". I seat beside him and patiently tell him to look at all the boys riding around us, I explain they couldn't do it the first day they tried, just as me and his dad. We could't do it on the first day either! This relaxes him, and gives him hope. I then propose we should try the "7 days of learning" process. So we go home and make a 7 day calendar, in the process of which Pierre will practice each day until he learns to ride. As he has already started, we mark a happy face next to DAY 1.
The next day (or the weekend after) we go to the park again and practice just his balance, when we get back home we put another happy face on DAY 2.
We continue for a few weeks ( the days don't necessarily have to be one after the other) until we get to the seventh day in which Pierre is totally capable of riding his bike!
This idea has worked for us in many things! Sometimes he achieves it faster and other times it might take even a few more days.
The importance is the fact that a visual chart linked to their experience gives them a clearer perspective. This helps children understand that learning is a process, which removes an enormous pressure from and also gives them immense self confidence, knowing that they ara capable of doing anything if they take the time to practice!
Try it! Even yourself! You'll be surprised :)
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