Many parents don’t do it on purpose, but sometimes they push their children with the intention of making them learn faster, without taking into account their pace or their ability to learn depending on their age or development. When a 4-year-old boy writes her name, the parents are very proud, but when he doesn’t they feel bad thinking that if other children do, it’s because maybe something is wrong with their little one.
Nothing is further from reality, each child has their own learning pace and must be respected so that they can develop effectively. When a little one is pressured to do things that he is not yet ready for, we will be generating unnecessary frustration and anxiety. These negative feelings have consequences in the future, since he could feel insecure or incapable, something that would very negatively affect his future learning, in any area of life.
Forcing learning is counterproductive
Forcing an apprenticeship when they are not yet ready for it can do a lot of emotional damage. Unfortunately, parents get carried away by a competitive society, we want to be (or appear) the best no matter what. We transmit this to children by setting an unrealistic learning pace. Should you worry about the secret language of your children in social networks?
When children are forced to learn things for which they are not yet ready, you will be creating an emotional wound that is difficult to heal. You tell your son that he is capable of doing it, but you do not respect his time to achieve it and when he does not do it, you are disappointed and he has very negative feelings that are difficult to manage at an early age.
It is an unnecessary pressure that leaves emotional but also physical consequences. The children’s brain learns at its own pace, and only when it feels able to do so, does it succeed. His maturation time does not have to be the same as that of another child and respecting it is essential for him to develop. For this same reason, we must avoid the temptation to compare our children with others.
For example, if you try to make a child learn to read or write before his time, you are only making him suffer. The little one will relate suffering to learning… and this will carry him in his heart for the rest of his life, with the terrible consequences that this will cause in his academic, professional and personal future.
If your child does not know how to read, add or subtract at the age of 7, it does not mean that he is less intelligent than other children, simply that he has his own learning pace that must be respected. You have to continue teaching him to do it, but without forcing him to know it. With motivation and good manners, sooner or later the child will learn it… because that is the magic of learning.
Some consequences of forcing children to learn without taking into account their own pace are the following: low self-esteem, insecurity, anxiety, feeling of inferiority, repressed anger, violent behavior, permanent frustration, etc.
Learn with motivation and emotion
For a child to really learn, he must feel directly involved in that learning, and how is this achieved? Through emotion and motivation. No pressure, no forcing, no comparisons. Respecting his pace and his ability.
If there is motivation, there is attention. If there is attention, there is memorization. If there is memorization, knowledge is manufactured. And when there is emotion…everything really takes hold in the mind. Children learn more and better when emotions enter the scene, that’s why it is said that children learn by playing, singing and dancing! Because they are ways that make them feel good and therefore, learning is interiority before.
To help your child learn with motivation and emotion, it is essential that you do not pressure or force him. If you have ever done it, there is no time for regrets, but you can repair the damage you have unconsciously caused him, because you only wanted to help him improve.
To help you, never stop paying attention to the motivation towards that particular learning. Let them learn at their own pace, in the way they feel most comfortable. It allows him to come into contact with nature, to play sports, to socialize with his peers. Let him be a child and his abilities will develop almost magically.
Don’t force him to spend hours sitting in front of paper and pencil. Neither do the books. Yes, doing so is essential, but not for hours prohibiting you from having fun or simply enjoying your childhood.
Set a time for learning, try to make it fun… and then allow them to have playful time to do what they want. For him to play, to read what he wants, to paint, to play with his friends, to have pillow fights at home or to help you cook. You’ll be amazed at how far you’ll start to progress in your learnings when you feel prepared and ready to do so. Trust in your child’s ability!