|Have you ever thought of the process each of us goes through to learn new skills and establish productive habits? Establishing new ways to accomplish everyday tasks is what children work on every day of their young lives. They are learning life skills that will become a part of their daily existence. Our role in the process is to introduce them to the most efficient way to do things in order to maximixe their level of competency and minimize their frustration. As experienced adults, we have a tendancy to take some things for granted.
Consider the following statements:
MYTH: Once a child is taught how to do something, she will do it eagerly each time.
The reality is … that it takes about six weeks to transform an activity into a habit. Children are always encountering new experiences. These individual experiences may each be a life skill introduced for the very first time.
MYTH: Children are happy to follow our lead as we introduce them to what needs to be done.
The reality is … that children have their own way of looking at things and may come up with an innovative way to accomplish the same task in a different way.
MYTH: If they figure it out on their own, that’s a good thing.
The reality is … that they may have figured it out by trial and error; however, what they learned may not be the most efficient way. It may be time to introduce them to “another way” the task can be done.
Think about the little life skills children learn each day. They are not so little when we consider that they are used throughout life. If we take time to intentionally teach life skills the best way possible, children will be more efficient and productive as they develop habits. The next time you see your child performing a task, make sure he knows the best steps to take!