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How can I help my child to love learning?

The following are tips of how to raise your child as a lifelong learner:

  • As your child grows, help her to see that learning is an ongoing process and share with her your enthusiasm for discovery.
  • If you’re excited about something you’ve read, discuss it over dinner.
  • Together, embark on a new learning adventure, perhaps speaking a new language. Then, as you take a walk, attempt to carry on a conversation in your “second” language.
  • If something sparks your interest, jump in with both feet and find out more. It might be as simple as learning to use your new digital camera, or as challenging as learning to play the piano.
  • Remember to also instill a sense of perspective: sometimes the best learning occurs when things don’t come easily.
  • If you’re enrolled in a class and are struggling to complete an assignment, let her know how you plan to deal with it: meet with the teacher, extra research, quiet time spent at the library. If your grade isn’t what you’d hoped for, explain that you gave it your best effort and still learned something in the process.
  • Ask your child to teach you something she already knows how to do. Helping you learn—and seeing you stumble—gives her the opportunity to shine and teaches her patience and perseverance as you gain the ability to accomplish what you’ve set out to do.
  • Celebrate the effort. Winning isn’t everything. If you don’t win the blue ribbon for the chocolate cake you entered in the bake-off, pour a glass of milk and toast your effort as you enjoy a slice of a perfectly good cake.

From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

    Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

    More About this Book

    Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

    When kids start going on TV binges or devouring fistfuls of cookies, it's easy to say, "They'll grow out of it." More likely, they're acquiring bad habits that could lead to childhood obesity and...
    Charles J. Sophy, MD
    Adolescent Medicine

    As your child grows, help him to see that learning is an ongoing process and share with him your enthusiasm for discovery. 

    If you’re excited about something you’ve read, discuss it over dinner. 

    Together, embark on a new learning adventure, perhaps speaking a new language. Then, as you take a walk, attempt to carry on a conversation in your “second” language. 

    If something sparks your interest, jump in with both feet and find out more. It might be as simple as learning to use your new digital camera, or as challenging as learning to play the piano. 

    Remember to also instill a sense of perspective: sometimes the best learning occurs when things don’t come easily. 

    If you’re enrolled in a class and are struggling to complete an assignment, let him know how you plan to deal with it: meet with the teacher, extra research, quiet time spent at the library. If your grade isn’t what you’d hoped for, explain that you gave it your best effort and still learned something in the process. 

    Ask your child to teach you something he already knows how to do. Helping you learn—and seeing you stumble—gives him the opportunity to shine and teaches him patience and perseverance as you gain the ability to accomplish what you’ve set out to do. 

    Celebrate the effort. Winning isn’t everything. If you don’t win the blue ribbon for the chocolate cake you entered in the bake-off, pour a glass of milk and toast your effort as you enjoy a slice of a perfectly good cake.

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    Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.