|Photo by: Pink Sherbert Photography|
When it comes to teaching a child any new kind of philosophy, subject, tool, or basically anything that is new, you have to know that there a couple things that will determine your success.
For one, whatever you do you have to turn it into words and tools that your child will understand. You can spend 14 hours every day for 8 months and still not have your child understand what it means to close the door if your child does not know how to close the door, or has never been shown how to work a doorknob.
Also, now that I've brought time into the picture, I would like to point out: when is the last time that you picked up the ability to do a new task at work?
When Microsoft Office switched over to the ribbon in the 2007 Version, how long did it take you to get back into the groove of things? And on that same note, are you still a little bit unhappy with it? You know what makes it even better, Office 2010 then seems have kind of gone away with it a little bit. You can see that there is a bit of frustration in this process.
Work with your child, work at the base tool or bit of understanding you think is necessary to build up to the next level of understanding.
If you say to your child, “please draw a picture of an orange…” you have to understand that there are several layers of things here a child has to understand before they can complete that task.
What does draw mean?
How do I draw?
How do I hold this thing?
Which fingers do I put it between?
Do I need to apply pressure?
Do I keep applying pressure?
Is the worst that you want me to draw the one you know about, although one I know about?
What do I draw?
Why is this thing that I am drawing on moving when I'm moving my crayon?
How can I stop it from moving?
How do I translate this thought of an orange circular thing into a Circle object on this piece of paper?
Why are mommy and daddy looking at me with those grumpy faces?
Will they still love me the same if I can’t do this?
I don’t want to draw anymore because I don’t want to make them have grumpy faces.
One of the best things that I've done to help me understand how to talk to my children is to take a complex task, take out all of the hard words, and replace them with words and concepts I know my child is familiar with. Try this sometime.
How would you explain traffic to a child? How about the concept of before and after? How about recycling?
Get on the same level, speak the same language, use the building blocks you know they have, and be as patient as you think you can be while working through love through every step.