Every child is special, but some children are more special than others in their own ways. Let me expound. I have a 10 year old niece who has an obsession with good grades. She even cries when she scores 90% in Math. My sister joked about her daughter crying over scoring 90% while the highest marks she ever scored in Math was 40%.
Beverly also loves reading. Over the weekend she surprised her mom by coming home with a membership badge from Kenya National Library Service- complete with her passport photo. When asked how she got it, she said that she goes to the library after school for sometime now and reads until six o’clock. This young lady is focused, i tell you.
I think parents need to encourage such children to reinforce such positive traits. I even lent her one of my story books so she reads during her free time. Yesterday, I taught her how to play scrabble and she beat me at the game.
Here are some ideas of how to reinforce positive habits that children have already developed.
- Buying them an occasional book if they love reading. (Mostly, children pick the love for reading from their parents. So if you love reading as a parent, it is an added advantage.)
- Invest in board games like scrabble that encourages mental activity. Scrabble is an example that can build your children’s vocabulary.
- Get them word puzzles like Sudoku and crossword puzzles. You can challenge them by giving them a set time to solve a puzzle.
- Your child may even have a talent other than academics. It may be art or even music. You can buy them drawing material or musical instruments.
- The biggest mistake parents make is buying their children gifts and think that gifts can replace their presence. There is nothing that motivates children more than their parents’ presence when they are shining. If it’s a game, be present to watch your child play and cheer them on. If your child has performed well, be present at the prize giving ceremony. This will motivate them to aim even higher.
- Be involved in their learning- You can do this by helping them out with their homework. I know you may be asking how you as a parent can assist your child with their homework when- like my sister, you did not do well in academics. I am sure everyone, even those who passed their exams can barely remember what they learnt in school. You can use learning resources like Shupavu291 Web. You can ask the difficult questions on Ask-A-Teacher, and make homework time enjoyable.
About the author
Juliet Otieno is the Brand and Social Media Lead at Eneza Education. She is trained in journalism and Public Relations and is a blogger who likes to play with words.