As parents, we all want to help our children succeed in school and beyond. We want them to realize their full potential; to be happy. But how do we do that?
On Monday evening, Professor Deborah Eyre, Education Director of Nord Anglia Education, visited The British School of Beijing Shunyi campus to talk with parents about just that – how we can help our children thrive.
Abundant research has given insight into the influences that usher kids from childhood to adult success, including families, school, peer groups and the children themselves. Whereas IQ scores and standardized tests can give an indication about how a child is doing at that particular stage, we cannot predict early on how our kids will do in the future. Instead, we can provide opportunities for children to excel – not by pushing them to do extra homework, but by providing the outlet for them to explore interests and talents, and then encouraging them to persevere.
Even something as simple as playing board games offers kids an added dimension of learning, says Professor Eyre. Some games are solely fun to play and provide a creative outlet. Others, perhaps unknowingly, can help children develop skills such as planning ahead. For younger children, Connect 4 is a great game that, when played regularly, helps children predict and strategize, whether they realize it or not. Chess is an excellent example of a thinker’s game as well. Look on your game shelf and see beyond what you know to discover how these fun activities might actually help your child’s thought processes.
Keeping children enthusiastic and interested in learning is vital. If they are bored because the concepts are too simple, or if they are frustrated because they are too difficult, it’s easy for them to give up. Offer them challenges that invigorate them to help their minds grow.
Professor Eyre’s top tips for nurturing high performance in your child include:
1. Encourage curiosity (let them explore and discover on their own)
2. Teach technique (show them how to do things, introduce next levels)
3. Technical language (use bigger words, give them new ways to express themselves)
4. Prompting questions (ask “what do you think would happen if…?”and “how…?”)
Parents, find the time and space to talk to your kids, encourage them when things go wrong, and LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN.
Photo courtesy of BSB.