We are all so busy these days, that it makes it hard to give your child the undivided attention they want and need.
In order to increase your child’s focus and create a habit of cooperative behavior, it is important to start this process early as you should be aiming for your child to have reasonable problem-solving skills by the age of eight.
A nurturing and supportive family environment can have a beneficial effect and make a big difference to your child’s focus and ability to complete tasks. Your child is born with a certain temperament, but behavior can be changed if worked on early enough.
We are aiming for the child to have a good attention span and to be able to learn in the classroom without being disrupted by or disrupting others. So the attention you pay and the interest you take in your child will help them to feel supported and understood and will assist with their classroom learning. This approach also helps the teacher as the teacher will soon realize that the child is well supported in a loving home. Children from a stressful, neglected environment often fail to do well at school due to a lack of parental interest and support.
The reason that these early years are so important is that the brain is still developing, and the frontal lobe of the brain is making connections that start to exert control over our emotional limbic system. It is also important that the child is not overly anxious, as anxiety is the most common childhood psychological problem. Learning to relax is important, and if you are anxious your child will probably be anxious too.
Introduce a special time to be with your child one on one, allocate about half an hour per day. This will help build a stronger relationship and should be a conflict-free time that both you and your child look forward to. Do something together, like drawing and allow your child to lead by making decisions on what to do. This is very positive for your child’s development and will help them to play independently.
During this time together you are giving your child your complete attention and he will get used to the time together each day and may not like it when you stop. Try to do this every day, if possible as it will lay the groundwork for more positive interaction.
It is easy to get into a negative cycle, and the aim of this play is to shift the balance so that the child gets more attention for positive behavior than for negative or shy behavior. As the behavior becomes more positive let your child know how pleased you are.
Many parents do not believe that we should reward children for good behavior, and that rewards can be a harmful approach.
I believe that rewards are a part of life, and small rewards in moderation are an incentive for good behavior.
Giving a positive message to your child is about saying and doing the right thing, and often a reward is a good temporary solution that might just turn the problem around. Parents need to set a good example, your child will watch what you do and mirror your behavior. How you behave will influence how he behaves. The child will take in everything you do, and if you and your partner have conflict in your relationship or with others, how this conflict is resolved will be important in influencing your child’s future behavior. Try to have regular conversations with your child about their peer relationships, at school and ask them why they think that some kids are more popular than others. Give them opportunities to play with other children and to form friendships. Ask their friends to your house, and let them play. This will teach them to learn to share.
For a younger child 3-4 years enroll them in a pre-school, as children who attend preschool are usually more socially competent than those who don’t.
It is a well-known fact that children who are cooperative at school will learn faster and do better in life than those who are uncooperative and disruptive. So in building your child’s ability and social skills in this area is going to be of great benefit to them in the future. It is also important that your child learns to be assertive and to stand up for themselves. Unfortunately, there will always be bullies at school, and it takes a while for children to learn to stand up to them. Bullying at school can affect a child’s learning by taking the focus away from what is important. Many adults are not assertive either and this is not providing good modeling for their child. Remember assertiveness can be used instead of aggression.
Life is about relationships, firstly the primary relationship between you and your child and the quality of this relationship forms the building blocks for all the other relationships that come along in life, friends, colleagues, and partners. Some children find social situations difficult, others take to them seemingly naturally, a secure family relationship is one of the best foundations you can lay down for your child’s future. A parent nurtures their child and helps to build their strengths and increase their abilities in as many areas as possible so that when they leave school they will be in a position to take up the best career possible for their abilities. Not everyone can go to University, but if the child has the opportunity to do some meaningful work that he loves he is much more likely to lead a happy and fulfilling life and to meet a partner or partners with similar interests and backgrounds.