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Celebrating National Parents as Teachers Day
National Parents as Teachers Day is a national holiday observed annually on November 8. As a parent, there are many opportunities throughout any day to influence and teach your children a new lesson outside of the classroom. The organization Parents as Teachers celebrates this day by offering educational services to parents across the country to give children support and resources to learn, grow, and reach their full potential.
Beyond the support provided by this specific organization, this day is a reminder to parents nationwide that they are their child’s greatest teachers. Parental involvement and engagement is strongly linked to the development of critical skills such as reading and writing, as well as general life skills including patience, relationship building, and character development.
Read on to find out four ways that you can positively influence the development of students and teach them something new:
1. Act as a role model for good behavior
Children are watching and learning from you every day. They are receptive to your actions and model the behavior they see from the people they look up to. If you want to teach your children the importance of gratitude and consideration for others, let them help you write a thank-you note for a gift.
If you want to teach them to ask for help when needed, you can offer ways that they can support you when you are stressed, whether that is helping out with chores around the house or packing their own lunch for school. Children learn best by watching the way you react to situations and treat others.
2. Explain the purpose of different tasks and skills
Your kids are more likely to perform certain tasks when they have a clear understanding of what they should be doing and why. Consider cooking, for example: If you have a goal to teach your children how to cook, explain the steps involved in making certain meals and encourage them to ask questions throughout the preparation process.
Keep it simple with younger children by giving them small jobs like gathering ingredients or washing produce. With older kids, you can teach them about planning balanced meals, shopping in the grocery store, and completing all the steps of meals including storage, preparation, and cleanup.
As you cook, explain what you want them to take away from this lesson, whether it is the importance of self-sufficiency or creating a balanced meal to keep them healthy. If you are clear with them about why a skill is important, they are more likely to see the relevance of the skill and will be more receptive to the lesson overall.
3. Foster an intrinsic desire for learning through daily routines
Learning new skills can take time. Children will need repetition and support as they gain the ability to complete tasks on their own. This requires patience and understanding from parents as they teach and re-teach skills. As children gain confidence in their own actions, they will be less inclined to ask for help.
For example, to help your child get ready on their own in the morning, start with small tasks like brushing their teeth by themselves or picking out their own clothes. As they start to practice each individual skill, they will develop a routine and be able to complete the tasks together until they are able to get ready by themselves.
4. Keep an open dialogue
Having conversations with your children can help to strengthen your connection and improve trust and security when sharing information. The more children feel comfortable in sharing, the more readily they will learn from you. Keeping an open dialogue to express their feelings can become the self-motivating factor that drives your children to continue to learn.
When you spend time together, share with them your personal experiences, feelings, and values that you want them to get from you. Your openness and honesty will encourage your children to share their thoughts and feelings as well. Through these conversations, you can help them to identify a sense of accomplishment when learning something new.