Friday, September 30, 2011

Seven Practical Ways to Help a Child Grow

    1. Look at a variety of activities he is interested in and figure out what they have in common. Then provide more opportunities to reinforce the concept or practice the skill.
    2. Read and talk to your child about real life things like animals, plants, and social situations. Remember, he absorbs everything his senses give him, so offer him a lot of opportunities to absorb things that will help him in his quest to become an adult. Fairy tales are wonderfully fun, but what they offer is not of any use to the child in understanding the world as it is.
    3. If at all possible, don't interrupt when you see that he is concentrating on something, even to praise him or admire his work. Concentration is the means by which a child organizes his impressions in his mind.
    4. Help him learn how to participate in society by practicing being courteous and resolving conflicts. Act out scenarios in which he can practice what he learns with emotional safety; don't do this as a rebuke, but rather as a lesson for when the situation comes up in the future. Make it fun.
    5. Let him do the same thing over and over as long as it interests him. Then encourage him to do it some more, no matter how boring it is from an adult perspective. When a child repeats something, it's because he's trying to understand it or get it right. If we stop him, it sends the message that his standards are too high or his interests aren't good enough.
    6. Give him enough time to do things for himself. This one is often particularly challenging because life is so fast paced. Adults only have a limited amount of time in which to get everything done... but you will do yourself and your child a service if you let him do it for himself, because as he becomes proficient it will save you both time and give him the confidence he needs to tackle greater challenges.
    7. Think about the way you speak to your child, because that's how your child will speak to others. If you wouldn't say it to a friend, think hard before saying it to your child.

    Welcome to Montessori Moments, a blog written for Dynamite Montessori School in Cave Creek, Arizona. If you'd like to check out our school, please visit Dynamite's website.

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