Babies and kids are fast learners. But who are their first teachers and the one they look up to the most? It’s YOU! It is every parent’s wish to be the best role model and raise a smart kid, but what should we teach and how?
Things to Learn
Among all the things our kids will learn, these are the most critical ones that will impact them for life.
- Physical Skills. For babies and toddlers, gaining strong motor skills and physical balance helps lay a solid foundation of physical health. For kids, exercises and sports are the best ways to stay fit and develop the ability to handle physical and emotional challenges.
- Academic Skills. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, these skills will be in shortage globally in the next several decades. Being well-versed in a STEM discipline can help our kids land a future career that brings passion and fulfillment.
- Managing Money: The ability to manage, invest, and spend money is essential to ensure financial stability in life. It’s never too early to teach kids about money. In fact, it helps establish the right attitude about money and finance from an early age.
- Making Friends: A nearly 80 years of study by Harvard reveals that close relationships are what keep people happy throughout their lives. That’s why it’s important to teach our kids to make friends and build a healthy support system.
- Managing Emotion: We all know that EQ (Emotional Quotient) sometimes is more important than IQ (Intelligence Quotient). As parents, we can teach our kids to be aware of their emotions and deal with negative events in life.
- Arts & Crafts. Learning arts and crafts can improve our children’s motor skills, literacy, and creativity. Plus, many arts and crafts projects are wonderful for us to bond with our little ones.
- Music. Melodies, rhythms, emotions…music is the color of life and it brings the body and mind together. Learning to appreciate music, play instruments, sing, or dance can help our kids to stay positive and cheerful.
Where to Find Learning Resources?
There are many resources that can make learning more interesting for kids. These resources cover age-appropriate topics and present them in a digestible way. Let’s explore!
- Books. Books bring tremendous knowledge and a new perspective to every child. Many successful people in history read rigorously. You can find paperback or ebooks from online stores, public libraries, or local book banks.
- Learning Toys. Toys are the primary way for babies and young kids to learn. You can find a wide range of toy selections from online stores, toy subscription plans, used-toy markets, or even yard sales.
- Podcasts. There are lots of podcasts designed specifically for kids. Depending on your child’s interest, you can find tons of child-friendly podcasts on mobile apps, public radio stations, or personal podcasts channels.
- Educational Videos. Though we don’t encourage too much screen-time, we have to confess that videos provide engaging learning experiences for kids. The most popular educational videos services are YouTube for Kids, Netflix Streaming Service, PBS Kids Video, and the Disney Channel.
How Do Parents Help?
- Let interest be their best teacher. The best teacher is interest. A parent’s job is to identify where our kids’ interests are, and provide resources to help them explore.
- Share your enthusiasm. Our kids starting learning from us since the day they were born. As a matter of fact, babies start copying adults at 10 months. By sharing our enthusiasm in our own hobbies and interests, we can become a great role model for our kids and influence them.
- Make learning fun and entertaining. Making learning fun and interesting can help kids associate learning with happiness. A child will learn much more from the visit to a museum or a historical attraction than from “Hisotry 101”.
- Celebrate progress and accept their mistakes. Every kid is eager for their parents’ praises and encouragements. Take time to acknowledge their progress and tell them what a good job they have done. Positive reinforcement helps kids stay motivated.