Ministry of Education, Guyana

When my daughter was young, it took a lot of mental energy , creativity and time to come up with new ways to get our energy out inside, especially during bad weather days, extended weekends or even as part of our every day routine. Physical activity is important for children and adults alike. Getting regular exercise helps keep our bodies healthy, sets up positive long-term habits, supports restful sleep and helps children be prepared to learn.

Published in Parenting Tips

From taking their first steps to learning how to read, children gain self-confidence as they master new skills. This gives them the courage to continue to explore and expand their abilities. Five-year-olds sometimes toggle between wanting to do things by themselves and having parents do tasks for them that they find difficult. As you encourage their independence, you may also need to help them talk through their frustrations and fears. Encourage their interest in learning new skills. They will develop confidence as they practice and recognize their progress.

Help your child build self-confidence with these strategies:

Zoom In
Kids may encounter intense feelings of self-doubt when they are overwhelmed by a task or situation. For example, instead of remembering that they already know how to dribble when joining a basketball team, a child might take in the whole scene ― the hoop, the other kids, the fast movement, the size of the court ― and become lost in self-doubt. Teach your child to "zoom in" on both strengths and challenges. Instead of looking through the wide-angle lens and assuming they can't do something, they can zoom in on what they can do and what they cannot yet do ― and make a plan for improving specific skills. (For example: “I know how to dribble a ball, so that will help me play," "I don't know how to do a layup yet, but I can ask my coach for help with that.")

Practice, Practice, Practice
In order for children to develop resiliency to forge on through the ups and down that go hand in hand with all learning, they will need oodles of practice time. As parents, we need to step out of the way and allow our children to make mistakes and encourage them to keep trying.

Let Your Child Borrow Your Confidence
Kids look to parents to see, "Should I be scared here?" Psychologists call this "social referencing." For instance, when children see a dog for the first time, they'll look up to mom or dad to assess whether or not the dog is dangerous. If their parent looks relaxed, it's easier for the child to approach the dog. When kids are scared, our instinct might be to help them escape — or to avoid scary situations entirely. But that tells them, "This is too hard for you to handle!" Instead, provide encouragement. Tell your child, "It's hard, but I know you can do it." Show your faith in your child's ability to cope.


Published in Parenting Tips

Grit involves sticking with something until you succeed. It’s another word for perseverance and resilience, and it gives us the strength to try, try, try again. Grit supports a “growth mindset” – a belief that our intelligence and skills can grow with effort. Kids with a growth mindset thrive on challenges and view failure as part of the learning process. For a seven-year-old, grit might look like sticking with a task at school, even when it seems difficult; identifying skills they want to develop and practicing them; and continuing when they encounter setbacks.

Published in Parenting Tips
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