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How to Overcome a Child’s Negative Attitude to Learning

Posted by Colleen Moyne on 10/3/2016

All children start out with a natural eagerness to learn. By the time a baby is a month old he has gained a certain amount of control over his vision and begins to try and make sense of the world around him. From there he begins to absorb knowledge at a rapid rate, and for every milestone he reaches we are there to encourage, cheer and document the moment in order to boast to anyone and everyone how clever our child is. It’s natural to do so and helps to instil in our child a love of learning.

But sometimes that enthusiasm for learning can wear off and there are many reasons why.

– Once a child enters the school system they can begin to see themselves as one of many.

Learning becomes an expected daily outcome and is not ‘celebrated’ like it was when they were younger.

– Children find themselves being compared to their peers and if they come up short, it can put a dent in their self-confidence.

– Other pursuits begin to hold more appeal than studying.

What we as parents must do is to encourage our children from an early age to want to learn for their own satisfaction, not to please us. Our praise needs to be proportionate to their accomplishments and they will soon accept that learning is a natural and essential part of growing.

Children also need to see us showing an enthusiasm for learning. They need to see that learning is a life-long process that we can all enjoy. Whether we like it or not, our children mirror our attitudes. If we show a reluctance or frustration for learning, our child will pick up on that, and the child that constantly seeks praise or validation for even the smallest accomplishment may well struggle in the school system and begin to resent the expectation of learning without instant reward.

But what if it has already happened? What if your child has already become a reluctant learner?

This is when we can help our child to see the bigger picture of what learning means in his life by giving him every opportunity to utilise what he learns. For example:

– Practice money skills by saving for a special purchase
– Practice writing and math skills by writing shopping lists, cooking with recipes, etc.
– Practice craft activities by making decorations for an upcoming party.
– Give your child the opportunity to study or learn something of their own choosing, outside of their regular school lessons.
– Make an agreement to learn something together.

The more your child can see results from their learning and see how it fits into their life, the more natural and enjoyable it will become.

Author: Colleen Moyne

Colleen Moyne

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