Childhood years are the best times to learn. Somehow, a person’s comprehension is at its peak during childhood. Parents should take advantage of these learning years to ingrain the values of life in their children.
If you’re a parent, teach them positive habits so that they will know and see the beauty that life has to offer. Make them enthusiastic about life. Instill into their hearts and minds all the wonders and magnificence of being alive by living life to its fullest in a positive way.
There’s a startling difference between children learning through self-discovery, and children learning through self-discovery with proper guidance. The first things that children learn are usually the things that stay with them and mold formative years until they reach adulthood.
Let us suppose you let your children learn through self-discovery. To a certain extent, self-discovery is good since it develops full independence and self-reliance. However, the learning process might be slow. In a sense, it is like a trial and error experience for children. They have to segregate the good from the bad, the right from the wrong, what they like and what they don’t. It is most likely that what they will like are the ones that come easy to them or the ones that they enjoy the most. And the ones that they enjoy the most might not necessarily be the good ones. Without proper guidance, what they like and enjoy the most might actually be hurting them although they are not aware of it. Perhaps later, if they find out that they picked the wrong choices, it may be too late.
With self-discovery through proper guidance, you will be able to leave room for them to develop independence and self-reliance. At the same time, show them what is right and what is wrong. Explain to them why. If possible, cite instances or examples based on true-to-life events to make them more convincing and realistic. The more realistic they are, the more easily the children are convinced. Likewise, try teaching them in a friendly and humorous atmosphere. Children are more attentive and eager to learn when all (both teachers and students) are in an easy mood. You will know and feel their eagerness to learn through the sparkle in their eyes and by the way they answer your questions. You can be sure that what they learn from you is acceptable to them and will stay with them. That is why, as a parent, you must show enthusiasm in life to your children.
There’s a third method of making children learn. That is through proper guidance leaving negligible room for self-discovery. But there are drawbacks. You take away from them the benefits of self-reliance and independence. The guidance you devote to them may be good and well intended, but they must not rely on you on almost everything they do. They become decision-dependent on you. There are instances wherein this type of guidance might be worse than giving no guidance at all.
There are parents who underwent hardships during their childhood, strived, and became successful financially. Although they are financially in the position to guide and assist their children to a better life, they prefer that their children undergo the same difficult experience they underwent during their younger years. Their reason: so that their children will value and experience the same things they went through. This may be applicable to stubborn and rebellious youngsters, but not to disciplined ones. Why must their sons and daughters repeat the same difficulties? There’s no reason to. This is like punishing the innocent. Instead of repeating the experience, they should learn from it. Life is too short to repeat unsavory experiences.
One of the best ways to broaden your children’s knowledge about life is by traveling. The world - its varied people, places, and cultures - has a lot of information to offer. It is perhaps as important as the conventional classroom. If you are financially able, traveling is one of the best educational experiences you can give your children. Look for exhibits or world fairs, and take your children there. Books are the next best things. It’s traveling by reading.
Fill your children with thoughts of self-importance, confidence, and positive attitude so that there will be no room for negative thinking. More importantly, fill their world with laughter, love, and understanding. You‘ll never go wrong.