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How to make sure your child is learning enough

Children learn new skills for example pictographs at their own pace, and it’s up to parents to stimulate interest

Yulia, mother of four-year-old Sasha, says: “I often talk to mothers, and they tell me about what their children are doing. One is learning English. The second one is in art school and recently won a contest. A third attends a sports section.

Hearing such stories, I can’t help but wonder if my child is learning enough. For a long time I was a teacher at school, worked with children and know how they develop. And yet, despite my knowledge and experience, I have doubts.

These doubts are common to many young parents. We care too much about our children and want them to develop to their fullest potential. Often, however, such doubts are unfounded.

Child development is a journey, not a race

Yes, this phrase may sound trite, but it is true. All children are different and develop at a different pace. Some acquire the necessary skills faster for example reading a thermometer, some slower. It doesn’t matter if your child develops faster than his or her peers; what matters is that he or she will develop.

Children are curious by nature

Children intuitively seek to learn new things. If the right conditions are provided for them, they will almost always succeed. Of course, certain difficulties may arise in the learning process. For example, a child may learn less well because he or she watches too much TV or his or her parents give him or her too many activities (e.g., taking him or her to sports, art, music schools, hiring tutors, etc.).

The difficulty is that you can’t just tell the child, “From this day on, you won’t watch TV. You have to replace anything that distracts your child from learning with something more useful. This is similar to how you try to stick to a healthier diet. The choice of healthy activities for your child should be done thoughtfully. After all, if there are too many of these activities in his daily schedule, he may become tired or more distracted. You may think in these cases that the child is lazy.

But don’t despair. If your child is having any difficulty learning, focus on two things: read more and go for more nature walks. These activities can spark a child’s interest. He becomes happier and more interested in learning and shows more creativity in play activities.

Your child can tell you what he needs.

Your child may be doing better than their peers or, conversely, falling behind. In either case, you shouldn’t ask yourself whether your child is learning enough. Instead, ask yourself, “What stage of development is my child in right now? What challenges is he facing? What are his strengths? How can I help him learn the skills he needs?”

If you overemphasize your child’s accomplishments or compare them to those of peers, you can get stressed. Parents often use this strategy, but it causes anxiety for both parents and the child. Instead, focus on the child’s strengths and challenges. He learns to the best of his ability. It is more important that he enjoys the process of learning.

Keep a good relationship with your child, and he or she will understand that the world around him or her is a place full of interesting things. This will awaken your child’s interest in exploring and learning new things.