What can you learn from this blog post?If you are in a situation where you want to change certain behaviors, or you want to learn an entirely new skill or set of behaviors, it is advisable that you do good things for yourself and that you keep stressful factors to a minimum. This will keep your body relaxed, and when it relaxes, it will be easier for it to acquire and remember new knowledge. The same goes for your child. If he/she is crying and in obvious distress, this is not the best time to teach new behaviors. It is more effective to teach new behaviors once your child is calm and is more susceptible to learn new patterns of behavior.
This is one of the reasons why at Mind Institute we place great emphasis on making the time in our classes an enjoyable experience with as much fun as possible for the children. We believe that the more they enjoy their environment and the more fun they’re having, the more susceptible they are to learning and development.
The theory behind the above statement:Humans basically have two decision-making systems the brain. The first is very fast, non-flexible and relies on habit and automatized behavior. The second is slower, more reasonable and more flexible. These systems are depicted below:
When using system 1, we are not capable of learning new behaviors. When we use system 2, we are very susceptible to new learning.
Stress is a signal that the body interprets as it being in danger. To increase the likelihood of survival and escaping the danger, the body will only use actions that it can execute quickly. Therefore, it will use system 1 and system 2 will be shut down, as it is simply too slow. Thus, if you are in distress you will be much less susceptible to learning. so let’s see how to optimize learning system for you?
How to optimize learning by using system 2?So how do we get to utilize system 2 rather than system 1, in order to optimize potential for learning? Well here are some pointers:
- Take care of physical needs first: Is your child hungry, tired, sick or something similar? If you take care of your child’s basic needs before putting a demand on the child, chances of success are higher.
- Make the teaching time “quality parent and child time” by making games out of it. There are numerous ways to teach kids in a fun manner. If you’re in doubt about how to make a specific task into a game, you can always ask the team at Mind Institute.
- Give rewards after your child has completed a task, so your child knows that: “Good things will come my way, if I complete the tasks put before me”.
- Use “prompts”: To help your child with the more difficult tasks you can use prompts. E.g. if you ask “what is this” . While you show your child an apple, you can say “a” to help your child on the way with the starting sound. This can make it easier and thus more fun for your child to learn.
- “Sometimes going slow is the fastest way to go”. Make sure that the task is challenging, but not so challenging that your child will get frustrated. Keep the challenge “at just right” level, then apply a “graded approach” to move on to the next task.