Exploring Moral Values with Your Child

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Parenting is undoubtedly a challenge. Not only must we put food on the table for our children, ensure there’s a safe place for them to call home, and help them with their homework, but we must also help them become good people with a valuable set of morals to live by. What you teach your child while they’re young will help guide them and determine whether or not they grow into good, kind adults. Here are some tips from an independent school in Essex on exploring moral values with your child…

Discuss the concept of respect with your child. Ask them if they know what it means and provide some examples of respectful and disrespectful behaviour. For example, the man in the shop who was yelling at the staff was portraying his anger in a disrespectful way, which only made the problem worse. When your child said “thank you for having me” after spending time at someone else’s house, they were displaying respectful behaviour. When your child has a temper tantrum and shouts at you, point out that they are being disrespectful, so that they understand the difference. Teach your child that all people should be treated with respect, as we are all equals.

Being polite is similar to being respectful, in that both require us to remember our manners. Remind your child to say please, thank you, and sorry when necessary until they remember to say it without your prompt. Explain to them that when people are talking, it’s polite to listen rather than butting in and talking over people. Teach them that if they are impolite and unpleasant, people will be less likely to want to be their friend.

As mentioned above, saying thank you is important, but gratitude extends beyond this. Help your child understand the concept of gratitude by asking them to share a few things they appreciate each day. This will help them develop an optimistic attitude, as they will be more inclined to focus on the good things that happen to them rather than the bad. It will also help them acknowledge the kind things that other people do for them.

When your child is playing with their siblings or friends, teach them the importance of sharing. The same applies when they are eating a bag of sweets or another treat; offering to others is a kind thing to do. Let your child know that sharing is kind and if they share with other people, those people are more likely to share back.

Of course, there are lots more moral values that you can explore with your child, many of which you’re probably teaching them without even realising. They will also learn various moral values and social skills from their teachers, peers, and other influential people in their lives, but it’s crucial that you try to be a good role model nonetheless.

Understanding Your Child’s Learning Style

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To help your child get the most out of their education it may be useful to identify their unique learning style and tailor exercises and activities to suit. There are three main learning styles: visual, kinaesthetic and auditory. Children will lean more towards one of these styles and deciphering which category they fall into can help to unlock their learning potential. An independent school in Buckinghamshire has shared the following information about the three-common learning, to help you maximise your child’s academic success.

Visual learners tend to retain and recall information better if they see it written down or presented to them with images or charts. They usually like things such as drawing, reading, and painting. Visual learners may struggle to concentrate on spoken explanations and find it more difficult to recall information they have heard rather than seen. Tip for visual learners: Have them create flashcards, mind maps, and brightly coloured posters when learning new information.

Kinaesthetic learners process information best if they can be physically engaged with the subject matter. They may benefit from acting things out or creating or building things to help them retain information. Kinaesthetic learners usually enjoy sport, dance, drama or other physical activities. They may struggle with traditional, classroom-based learning methods which focus on reading, writing, or listening to verbal explanations. Tip for kinaesthetic learners: To secure fresh knowledge have them teach what they have just learned to someone else. This will allow them to actively engage with the information they are covering.

Auditory learners are better at understanding spoken instructions than written ones and have better recall if they have heard something out loud. They generally enjoy music and singing and are often quite talkative. Auditory learners find it difficult to retain the information they have read and may find it difficult to concentrate when reading. Tip for auditory learners: Recording themselves reading out loud and then listening back to the information is a great way for auditory learners to cement their knowledge. Both speaking out loud initially and then listening back will suit their learning style and help them to understand the topic they are covering.

Helping Your Child Become More Independent

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Part of our role as parents is to teach our children about the world and be there to hold their hand along the way. Although you will always want to be there to guide and mentor your child through life's ups and downs, it is equally important to empower them to stand on their own two feet. Teaching your child to become more independent allows them to navigate life with confidence and resilience, helping to develop their sense of self and encouraging them to take new challenges in their stride. To help you teach your child to be more independent, take a look at the following advice from an independent school in Wolverhampton.

Don’t Do It All For Them
Look out for parts of your child’s routine where they don’t actually require your assistance. If you find yourself running to the kitchen to get your 7-year-old a drink whenever they ask or putting away your 10-year-olds laundry, it may be time to consider passing them the torch on certain tasks. Children often learn to expect parents to meet all of their needs but setting the expectation that they have to do certain things for themselves will encourage them to be more self-reliant.

Give Them Responsibilities
A family contribution chart is a good way to introduce your child to responsibility. Each week you could give your child certain tasks to complete such as taking out the bins or washing the dishes. This teaches your child that they have an important role to play in the upkeep of the household and that they are an integral part of the family unit. Your child will feel a sense of competence as they complete household tasks independently and will benefit from knowing you’ve entrusted them with the responsibility.

Allow Them to Make Decisions
Independent thought and decision-making are important skills that can be developed over time. Instead of micromanaging every part of your child’s day, try giving them choices instead. You could start by allowing them to choose their own outfit or pick which cereal they want for breakfast. This encourages children to consider and weigh up their options helping them develop confidence in their own decision-making.