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'A lesson a day' for confidence & competence

Blog Post Teaser Image When I was a classroom teacher a colleague taught me a great kids’ confidence-building strategy.

She gave a special assignment to students who struggled.

Every day these children would go home and teach their parents, or siblings, something they’d learned that day at school.

I adapted this idea for my class. Once a week every child had to teach their dads something they’d learned at school.

It was a simple idea that encouraged what should happen normally at home – that is, children passing on knowledge and skills to others.

Kids learn through teaching

There is nothing better than teaching someone something you know.

It reinforces the learning, and also makes them feel good about themselves. Reinforcement & confidence are two prime ingredients for learning.

High-functioning families provide plenty of chances for siblings to help, teach or pass on some learnings to each other.
As a child I remember older siblings teaching me everything from how to get my breakfast, how to set my clothes out in the morning, and how run a hot shower (and not get burned). I also remember helping an elder sibling with his spelling so the teaching was reciprocal.

There are so many things that siblings can teach each other when parents have this 
teaching mindset. It’s all part of moving toward redundancy as a parent!

As a parent it’s our job to make sure kids are skilled up, but we don’t have to do it all ourselves.Siblings can help each other.

As a parent you may have to create opportunities for kids to do some teaching……….particularly for youngest borns.

Here are some ideas:

1. INVITE a child to teach or show you something they learned at school. This ranges from a special art project that may take some time through to picking up on what kids tell you happened at school. “Can you show me how you add up those numbers?”

2. ASK, don’t tell! Develop the habit of asking children to show you how they do simple tasks such as how they tidy their room, how they plan their homework through to how they can help you sort out a technology dilemma. Make “Show me how….” part of your regular vocabulary.

3. TEACH, then pass it on. Teach your kids a practical skill (such as how to set up a tent, how to cook a simple meal, how to make a bed) and then ask them to teach their sibling. This ‘pass it on’ technique is a large family strategy, that ideally happens with no adult influence. HOWEVER, there are times when native parenting cunning needs to come to the fore to set a new course for kids.

4. ACT dumb. This strategy works with younger kids. Sometimes you’ve just got to act dumb and pretend that you don’t know how to do something. “Jason, can you get the image on my IPad to show on the TV?” OK, so I wasn’t acting dumb when I asked this question to my friend’s son recently. I really couldn’t do it, but you get my drift!

Here’s my parenting challenge for you. Look for opportunities for your children to teach something to someone (you, other family member, another child…) every day.

My bet is that teaching happens quite naturally for one or more of your children, but you’ll have to be pro-active with at least one child in your family who either lacks confidence or has become quite dependent on other family members.

So go ahead…………make teaching a family habit!

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