Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Get Your Teen to Love Learning!

The world is changing rapidly. It is important your child can keep up. Learning is not an option. As long as we live, we must learn in order to survive. In fact, continuous learning is considered an essential life skill. As such, it is important you teach your child to have fun with learning.

Often time’s learning sounds like hard work and even a bore to a teen who just wants to explore life. After all, who wants to sit and write poetry or work on a complicating math problem when other things sound like more fun? Learning, however, does not have to be boring and does not have to be done at the kitchen table with books opened and spread everywhere.

If your teen does not show signs of being interested in learning, there are a number of things you can do to motivate him/her. The most important part is that you demonstrate patience with your teen. Here are a few tips to use.

7 Tips to Encourage Your Child to Learn

Inspire your teen: Give your child the opportunity to speak to people from a variety of professional backgrounds and interests. There is nothing more inspiring than speaking to individuals who enjoy their job and speak positively about their journey, including all the challenges. Overtime your child will develop a more positive outlook on learning and welcome new challenges.

Find out his/her learning style: There are many different learning styles, including verbal, logical, audio, visual, or hands on. Find out your teen’s learning style and let him/her know you noticed s/he learns best when taught in a specific way. This way you are coaching your teen to pay attention to teaching styles and making it easier for him/her to pick up new information. When s/he has figured out which style works best, s/he will enjoy the work more because it will seem less of a struggle.

What’s going on at school: Be involved with your teen’s school work. Ask what they have learned each day and ask them to quiz you to see what you know about science, English literature, geography, etc. Kids often enjoy teaching their parents for a change. As they are quizzing you, they are strengthening their own knowledge of the day’s lesson.

Learn as a family: Organize family learning opportunities by going to a museum, library, sports hall of fame, etc. The first few times you can pick a place your teen will enjoy (based on your child’s interests). This will persuade your teen to be open-minded about family trips. There may be a few objections in the beginning, but the more often these family activities are repeated the more open you teen will be to the experience.

Tap into your teen’s strengths: Learning can be hard work. Tap into your child’s strengths to encourage learning. Everything seems more fun when we are good at what we are doing. The same holds for your teens. While it is important to develop your child’s weaknesses be sure you allow him/her to use his/her strengths too.

Set an example: When you show that you enjoy learning and reading new material and are willing to put in the effort, your teens are likely to follow. Be sure to let your teens see your enthusiasm for learning...not your pressure to learn something new in order to retain your job. Demonstrate to your teen that learning is a natural part of life.

Be creative: You know your children the best. You know what excites them and you know their areas of interest. Combine these two important pieces of information and be creative to make up attractive new learning scenarios.

Interested in more information on how to get your teen excited about learning? Contact Teen Life Coach in Toronto, Ivana Pejakovic, and find out how you can teach your child to love learning.

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