Not every teacher is a parent, but every parent is a teacher. You are your child’s first and best teacher. In the first six years of life, your child learns 80% of what he will ever know. He is like a sponge, taking in everything in his environment. Beginning in infancy, everything he does, sees, hears, smells, tastes and feels is a learning experience. By taking advantage of these facts, you can give your child a great head start.
Your child wants to be like you and emulates you in every way he can. By being a good role model, and showing the values you want your child to learn, you are teaching by example. To teach the values of respect for others and good manners,
- say good morning every day when your child wakes up, give a hug and a kiss
- say “please” and “thank you”.
- Model a respect for objects to show that things have value.
- Handle toys, books, games, clothing, etc properly, and put them away when you have finished. If you put things away, your child is much more likely to do the same.
- put your shoes away when you take them off instead leaving them by the door.
- carry objects in a way that will avoid dropping, spilling, that is, one at a time, using both hands.
Demonstrate how to do a task step by step. For example,
- brushing your teeth: how to squeeze the appropriate amount of toothpaste onto the brush,
- brushing all areas of the teeth
- rinsing the mouth
- rinsing the toothbrush, putting it away,
- rinsing the sink, drying hands and face,
- hanging up the towel.
Taking the time to show your child the proper way to do something is a great service to your child and saves you time in the long run. By doing things in the most efficient way, you will teach your child the easiest way to master an activity.
Behaviour do not happen overnight, it is a process.