The world is changing rapidly. It is important that your child is able keep up. Learning is not merely an option; as long as we live, we must learn in order to survive. In fact, ongoing learning is considered an essential life skill. As such, it is important you teach your child to have fun with learning.
“Learning” may often sound like hard work - even a bore – to a teen who just wants the freedom to explore life at theior own pace. After all, who wants to sit and write poetry or work on a complicated math problem when other things sound like so much more fun? Learning, however, does not have to be boring and needn’t be relegated to the kitchen table with books spread everywhere.
If your teen does not show signs of being interested in learning, there are a number of things you can do to motivate him/her. The most important rule of thumb to keep in mind is that a little patiernce goes a long way with your child. Here are a few tips to use.
7 Tips to Encourage Your Child to Learn
Inspire your teen: Give your child the opportunity to speak to people from a variety of professional backgrounds and interests. There is nothing more inspiring than speaking to individuals who enjoy their job and speak positively about their journey, including all the challenges. Over time your child will develop a more positive outlook on learning and will welcome new challenges.
Find out their learning style: There are many different learning styles, including verbal, logical, audio, visual, or hands on. Find out your teen’s learning style and let him/her know you noticed s/he learns best when taught in a specific way. This way you are coaching your teen to pay attention to teaching styles and making it easier for him/her to pick up new information. When s/he has figured out which style works best, s/he will enjoy the work more because it will seem less of a struggle.
What’s going on at school: Be involved with your teen’s school work. Ask what they have learned each day and ask them to quiz you to see what you know about Science, Literature, Geography, etc. Kids often enjoy teaching their parents for a change. As they are quizzing you, they are strengthening their own knowledge of the day’s lesson.
Learn as a family: Organize family learning opportunities by going to a museum, library, sports hall of fame, etc. The first few times you can pick a place your teen will enjoy (based on your child’s interests). This will persuade your teen to be open-minded about family trips. There may be a few objections in the beginning, but the more often these family activities are repeated the more open your teen will be to the experience.
Tap into their strengths: Learning can be hard work. Tap into your child’s strengths to encourage learning. Everything seems more fun when we are good at what we are doing. While it is important to address your child’s weaknesses, be sure you allow him/her to use his/her strengths too.
Set an example: When you show that you enjoy learning and reading new material and are willing to put in the effort, your teens are likely to follow. Be sure to let your teens see your enthusiasm for learning…not your pressure to learn something new in order to retain a job. Demonstrate to your teen that learning is a natural part of life.
Be creative: You know your children the best. You know what excites them and you know their areas of interest. Combine these two important pieces of information and be creative to make up attractive new learning scenarios.
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