Children all develop at different speeds, and as a parent, it can be hard to know exactly what you should be teaching your kids when. There are a few things that children should learn first, some of which are building blocks for the rest of their lives. Understanding these as a parent can give you a little head start and a bit more confidence when it comes to teaching your children. We have spoken to educational and developmental experts to compile for you a few things your kids need to learn at a young age.
Reading is a skill that is vital to the development of your child. Learning to read and understand language at a young age can help them get ahead in school and all the way through into later life. The experts over at optimizedfamily.com explain how “taking a reading course as a young child helps build strong foundations in reading, learning, and general development”. There are a few great ways of helping your child learn to read such as word games, sound associations, picture books, or properly designed reading kick-start courses. Educating yourself on how best to teach reading to your little ones can help both of you enjoy the learning process more, and achieve more as you go. Start reading to your children at a very young age and as their interest grows, help teach them.
A life skill that needs to be learned and understood at a young age is proper hygiene. The sooner your child understands the importance of bathing, brushing their teeth, combing their hair, etc. the better. Quite often these things are drilled into our children but without ever properly explaining why they are important. Often this leads to tears at bath time, or angry confusion when brushing teeth! Explaining why these healthy, hygienic habits are important throughout their life will help them start to build habits that will last a lifetime. It is never too young for our children to understand how important their teeth are, and why it is crucial to care for them properly, for example.
As your children grow, they will very quickly start to show signs of which foods they love and which they find repulsive. It is far too easy for parents to slip into the traps of simply feeding whatever causes the least amount of trouble at mealtimes. While it can be hard, it is very important to try and teach your children the value of a varied diet and how good it will make them feel as they grow. Instead of battling over broccoli, try and explain how broccoli makes their tummies happy, and their bones strong. If you associate good food with good feelings at a young age, your child will likely grow into a healthier and perhaps stronger individual.
As mentioned, children often learn to make decisions very quickly about things they like and don’t like. For example, they hate bath time but they love ice cream! However, these are not exactly the types of decisions we’re talking about. Critical decision making is a skill every adult needs when passing through life’s choices at work, home, and in general. Some of us really struggle with making crucial decisions, but studies have shown that teaching children decision-making skills at a young age actually helps them be more strong-willed and confident as adults. Starting with basic decisions such as “you choose what flavor ice cream we buy today” will help your child’s brain develop critical decision-making skills. Slowly, over time, they will become confident decision-makers.
Telling and Understanding Time
Everyone remembers learning how to tell the time. Whether it’s a digital or analog clock, children need to understand how to tell the time as quickly as possible. This isn’t too hard to teach. What’s important is understanding the value of time itself. Teaching your children how time passes, how people use the hours in their day, and why it’s important to use time wisely is a much slower learning process. Learning these things young will help your children become experts at keeping time when they begin school, work, and adult life.
Teaching your kids these few important things in the first years of their life can massively aid their overall development as they soak up all of the world’s information. All of these things help build confidence in themselves, and a great base for when they head into each stage of their education and development. Good luck on your learning journey as you help teach your child.