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Three Rules for Development

Posted by on in Cognitive Development
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Have you given up on your New Year's resolution already? Here are three rules for you and your children as you attempt growth and development together.


Rule 1: Break it down into doable steps.

The Montessori model is an excellent example of this. 

For example, in teaching a sport in which you hit something with an instrument in your hand -- baseball, racket sports, paddle sports, etc. -- there are steps. 

The same rule applies to adults who are trying to break a habit. Break it down into doable steps. Want to lose weight? Figure out various steps, each of which can be done. 


Rule 2: Start easy.

We don't start teaching the alphabet by giving the child all 26 letters at once. Teach one letter, celebrate, move on. In learning matching games, start with one pair. Increase. 

Note: We all need encouragement, no matter what age. The experience of success is encouraging. 

Start easy. For example, when you get a new job, are there expectations that you will do everything in the job description on the first day? No. You grow into it.

Similarly, we don't give children 14 different directions at once. (Or even 4 or 5.) Give 1 at a time, or 2 at most. This works for adults as well. Most adults max out at 7 pieces of instructions at once.


Rule 3: Notice the tiny attempts, and rejoice even in the small steps in the right direction. 

We all have something that needs changing, whether as a child or as an adult. As adults we need to rejoice in our own small steps in the right direction. This sets a good example. Recognize your child's (and your spouse's, and your own) tiny attempts, and celebrate the direction.