As a google warrior and being a life long learner, I have always been focused on raising global citizens. One of the best ways to ensure this is to raise children with the right attitude to learning.
At the first assembly at the children’s school, the head of school mentioned that it all starts with the right attitude. He went on to challenge us, he said that parents play a large part in encouraging the right attitude in our children.
I strongly believe that before we blame external influence, there is so much influence that parents have on their children right from home. Modern age parenting comes with navigating the influence of digital media and this puts more pressure on parents. It is more important than ever to ensure that you spend quality time with your children. The more time you spend, the more you are able to raise them with the right values. The internet and other means of external influence are ready to feed your child with their own beliefs and thoughts.
To truly raise a global citizen who can compete in a very connected world, the children need to be life long learners. Things are changing faster than we can master them and our children needs to be prepared for all this. The best role models are the ones who are adaptable, creative and embracing change in a positive way. Let it start with you the parents.
How to Raise Children with the Right Attitude to Learning
The Importance of Reading.
Children have to read, as this is one of the best ways to learn. The reading can be in any format but they need to read and read widely. Get them books that interest them across various areas of interest. They can also listen to audiobooks. Reading should not just be to pass an exam but for life. The best way to be a reader is to read. Does your child ever see you read a book? or are you always scrolling through social media? Get into a habit of reading with your children. My mother studied English at University and we were raised loving to read books. I have passed this on and when the children were young I bought loads of books for them. I made it a routine to read to them at night and now this is a habit that has been formed.
Children today are distracted more than ever before. We need to help them with the right study habits. A teacher once advised that we can set timers for the kids to help them sit undistracted. You can ask them to study for 20minutes at a stretch before they can get up. Do what works for your child.
Luckily now we are more aware that children learn in many different ways. These styles include Visual learners; where the child prefers pictures and images; Aural learners that prefer using sound and music. Verbal or linguistic learners prefer using words, both in speech and writing and finally Physical or kinesthetic learners. Whatever your child’s preferred learning style is; help them to get good study habits to learn. Setup a quiet part of the house for them to get their homework and school work done. You can implement a reward system for hard work, such as letting them watch their favourite show on TV or YouTube.
Digital Media and Screen Time
Young children in school today do not know a world that existed before the internet. They are digitally inclined and left to them they will spend all day on their screens. It is important that parents put the right screen time rules in place. However, we should also let our children take full advantage of the sheer access to unlimited learning opportunities available online.
The key thing for online consumption is the right kind of content. There are many things our children will have the opportunity to learn from other people in other parts of the world because they have access to the internet. Do not be guilty of being a typical Nigerian Parents who shouts and says the internet is all bad; and then keeps the child off the internet. This was the sentiment from many Teenagers I spoke to recently. They would appreciate it rather if you speak to them about your concerns. Rather than just say be suspicious of their online behaviour.
Raise a Lifelong learner
One of the main things that connectedness and technology mean is that your child has to be a lifelong learner. This means that they need to see learning as part of their existence. New concepts come up regularly and the only way to stay globally competitive is to learn and stay open.
Creativity is infinite and the more our children learn and are open to coming up with unique solutions the better for them as a global citizen. Children today are uniquely positioned to blend technology and local knowledge which leads to innovative solutions. Think of the young person who uses technology to solve the problem of a lack of steady electricity.
Purse Personal Interests
All work and no play…you know the famous quote. There is a lot of value in pursuing your interests as an individual. Someone who is passionate about what they do will excel in all areas. Welcome the era of the portfolio of careers, the ability to have multiple interests and talents and find a way to do them all.
Of course, being a master of none is not the goal but a child can very well like sciences and also want to learn to be a fashion designer. Allow your child to explore their talents, let them look up other talented people in the areas they are interested in. In addition, there is almost no skill that you cannot pick up online.
I ended with the most important of all. Having the right attitude. It is not only about what you know, or how you use what you know but also your attitude that will make the difference. This is ultimately what will help you to excel in whatever field you find yourself.
Thanks to the internet and social media you can literally be connected to clients, customers and colleagues from any part of the world. There are many people who can do what you do and attitude plays a big part in giving you an edge. An Attitude of How can I do so and so is much more powerful than a defeatist attitude or one full of doubt. Lastly, it is important that we all appreciate that everyone is unique and full of talents and gifts.
As parents we need to realise that we still have a huge role to play in ensuring that our children make the right decisions, as they grow and navigate life. Raising a global citizen is not a luxury, it is a necessity in today’s world where your child is connected to the globe 247.