Habitot Children's Museum

FALL-WINTER HOURS
October 1- March 31
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 4:30
9:30 - 4:30
9:30 - 4:30

SPRING-SUMMER HOURS
April 1 - September 30
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun

9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 4:30
9:30 - 4:30
Private Rentals Only

THIS MONTH'S SPONSOR
State Farm Insurance
Berkeley Agent, Gary Eason
http://garyeason.net/



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Habitot Children's Museum
2065 Kittredge Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 647-1111
www.habitot.org


How to support your child to achievement and success?
Parents can both support and hinder a child’s achievement and success, but not always in the expected ways. We currently live in a culture of ambition, competition and a sense of fear or anxiety that our children will not succeed without our concerted efforts and sometimes our direct intervention. There’s not a lot of trust in children’s natural instincts to learn, grow, develop competence and confidence and find their true callings.

And yet, parents are truly needed as engaged participants in their child’s development. Babies are born with no real sense of themselves as separate and distinct beings. They learn who they are primarily through their interactions and experiences with others. Primary caregivers reflect back to children their unique strengths and special attributes and nurture the type of people their children grow to be. Inborn temperament plays a role in a child’s development, but in large part a child’s sense of self is shaped by those who care for him.

When children are small, parents must be attuned to their needs. As kids grow, parents have to gauge when to back off and allow the child to self-direct. This can be tricky for some parents, especially those accustomed to meeting a young child’s every need, but skillfully deciding when to let a child try – and fail – can lead to a confident, competent child.

As soon as your child is old enough to say “do it myself,” allow her to try. Give her the time and opportunity to try something new, make mistakes, and learn from them. It’s been said before that we all learn more from our failures than our successes. Children who sometimes fail and receive parents’ gentle support are more willing to try again. They turn out to be much less discouraged than kids who have been over-praised, or kids whose parents have demanded perfection.

Children need our guidance in learning that being perfect every time is not the goal, only the struggle towards it. Demanding perfection of young children in the early years, can lead to stressed-out, perfectionistic older children and emotional problems. What we all want is to raise capable and confident children, who are comfortable trying to learn difficult, new or unexpected things, and sometimes doing things their own way on the path to self-knowledge.

Here are some tips on supporting your child to achievement and success:

  • Give your child responsibilities.Though it often takes more time to get work done around the house with your young child “helping,” it’s the best way for her to learn. Give your child small age-appropriate jobs. Very young children can sort laundry with you, help feed pets, water plants, and pick up toys. Be specific about what is expected. Say, "Please put a napkin on each plate," not "Help me set the table.”

  • Praise effort, not just accomplishments.Learning to tie a shoe can be hard, but life’s tasks are only going to get harder as your child gets older. Feeling pride in effort will go a long way in encouraging your child to try harder, even with huge new tasks.

  • Chose your timing. It’s important to give your child time to try new things, so don’t try to push skill building during a time you are in a rush, such as when he’s getting ready for school in the morning. Set aside time of the weekends instead, so he can practice all he wants without being rushed.

  • Set children up for success.Break down difficult tasks into manageable steps, and encourage your child to do a task one step at a time. This will help her see her progress step-by-step and motivate her to keep trying.

  • Be a positive role model.Children learn more from what we do than from what we say. When parents stay calm and flexible in dealing with life’s challenges, they are teaching their children positive ways to learn and achieve.

  • Be patient. Developing empathy takes time. In fact, a big and very normal part of being a toddler is focusing on me, mine, and I. Remember, empathy is a complex skill and will continue to develop across your child’s life.
 
Resources:

A Guide to Promoting Resilience in Children: Strengthening the Human Spirit.
Edith H. Grotberg, Ph.D. Bernard Van Leer Foundation.
www.resilnet.uiuc.edu/library/grotb95b.html

Building Resilience in Young Children.
Jennifer Pearson, BFA and Darlene Kordich Hall, RN, PhD. Best Start Resource Centre.
www.beststart.org/resources/hlthy_chld_dev/pdf/BSRC_Resilience_English_fnl.pdf

Confidence in Children: Tips for raising a can-do kid.
Maureen Healy. Psychology Today
www.psychologytoday.com/blog/creative-development/200903/confidence-in-children

 
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