The Tools and Tactics to Help Our Children Mentally Excel

The Tools and Tactics to Help Our Children Mentally Excel

April 9, 2024


We all want our children to thrive in any circumstance. We want our children to be the best at anything they put their hands to. But we can all feel that the modern way of life can have adverse effects on their cognitive development. Our children don’t tend to play in the garden like older generations did. They have a lot more in the way of distractions than we ever did.

It’s so important now to differentiate ourselves, and this means one of the keys is actually giving our children tools to not just survive the real world as it stands, but also give them a few little things that will instantly help them excel. Let’s show you a variety of tools that can help.

Stimulating Their Cognition

As parents, we will always fight a battle in terms of getting the balance right. Our children will always go for online games rather than something like chess, but this is where we have to remember that everything is grist to the mill when it comes to their cognition. We can’t just view online games as being plain bad for their brains because there are so many games that stimulate cognitive skills like problem-solving and memory. 

The trick is to not put it under the umbrella of “education,” but to make sure our children have access to everything that they want and a little bit more. As soon as our children view things as educational, this may very well put up a blockade between them and the thing we’re trying to get them to do. One of the keys to this is about incorporating a variety of activities that make learning fun. But we have to let them lead the way and look at the things that they benefit from.

The Tools and Tactics to Help Our Children Mentally Excel

Incorporate the Skill of Habit

One of the most important things to help our children learn skills that get them ahead of the curve is, very simply, about a little bit of discipline and a lot of patience. It can take anybody a number of months to learn a habit, depending on who you ask. We need to remember that children will benefit from having certain habits in their lives, but we, as parents, have to be patient. 

It could take many months for our children to start doing things that we want them to do, but we have to follow their lead as we’ve already discussed, but then recognise that if we want them to do certain things that we know will benefit their cognition, we need to apply the “little and often” approach. You’ve got an inbuilt structure already because they wake up, go to school, come home, go to sleep; it’s about making sure those little moments in between are capitalised upon. 

We also need to remember that it’s about rewarding them for their efforts as well, and this is where everything in moderation can really help our kids in the long run. Because we now live in a world where we have access to everything, we’re always just consuming more and more, which is why habits of moderation and doing things to get a little reward can help them instil certain aspects of discipline into their lives.

A good example is when they start doing homework, and they really throw up the barriers; you give them a little reward, whether it’s a few minutes of gaming or a snack. The trick is for them to do the task so they get the rewards. It can certainly be like having to train a dog, but these little habits, over time, slowly embed, and it becomes second nature.

Fostering a Growth-Oriented Mindset

We, as parents, are unconsciously teaching our children certain attitudes to life. If we still see failure as the end of life as we know it, we can’t expect our children to embody any opportunity to grow and learn. There are benefits of incorporating rewards for them completing things like homework, but we’ve got to be careful that they don’t rush to the end of their homework, but actually do it right, rather than quickly. This is why we’ve got to praise effort and persistence rather than just natural ability or intelligence. 

Your children may have friends who are naturally good at “everything” in school, but we have to remind them that they are only seeing a fraction of the bigger picture. There are things that your children are actually good at, and you can encourage this as much as you want, but when your children fail at something, the temptation can be to give it up. Helping children develop resilience is one of those important life skills anybody can benefit from, and a willingness to try new things will help the growth mindset that is so important. 

Because our children can come up against a number of different blockades in life, whether it’s a teacher constantly failing them for something or friends that are seemingly better at a variety of different skills than they are, the mindset that embraces challenges and viewing failure as an opportunity to learn is essential. Our children need to recognise that learning is not something that should be avoided; that is where they soon discover what they’re truly capable of. However, we also need to remember that persistence and resilience are key, but it needs to be carefully managed by us. 

Giving them something that they have no comprehension of can force them to give up too early, which is why the key to developing any form of resilience is about exposing them and ourselves to ever so slightly uncomfortable stimuli, something that’s just beyond their reach so when they do achieve a goal, it’s going to feel that much better for them.

The Tools and Tactics to Help Our Children Mentally Excel

Encourage Them to Explore Their Passions and Interests

Your children may very well grow to hate school, and this is a very normal thing, but why? Is it because they’re actually doing things that they have no passion for? If this is the case, then it’s essential to encourage children to explore the things they have a natural aptitude for. But what we can do is try our best to help them view education through their passions. Something like maths can be incredibly frustrating and difficult for some people who don’t have the natural aptitude. But much like kids’ TV shows like Numberblocks that help young children develop their number skills, we need to figure out what our children can benefit from in terms of that subject. 

For example, the modern child’s spelling ability is replete with slang and Americanised spelling, especially in the UK. If your child hates writing, have them write about topics they are passionate about. Or if they hate history, you can connect certain aspects of history to their favourite movies, books, or real-world experiences. It’s also important to bring the subject to life, which is something that teachers should be doing, but you may benefit from giving your children more exposure to the subject through different online resources. 

This could also help them if they have a very specific learning style, for example, kinesthetic learning, which involves more hands-on approaches rather than visual or auditory style learning. We have to emphasise real-world relevance and help our children understand how the subject matter ties into their daily life, relating things to current events or popular culture that your child enjoys.

The toughest part of educating our children these days is the fact we’re up against a multitude of distractions. In order to give our children the tools to thrive, we must not just focus on academics and education but also remember that intelligence is about real-life human skills, soft skills, and communication, which is something that younger generations can lack because of growing up around social media. It’s an ongoing journey; however, giving your children a variety of tools can stimulate them in the right way.

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