- Effective parents model time management. This doesn’t mean that you teach your children to tell time; it means you show your children how you make time to be with them. Remember to take their lead with an activity. If your child wants to color with you, avoid the temptation to check your email while she colors. Also, avoid the temptation to color better than your child, as this will only discourage future time together. Coloring is the perfect activity to touch on a conversation that teaches about the SCIENCE of rainbow colors. And this paves the way for being comfortable with future conversations about RELATIONSHIPS and peer pressure when she gets older.
- Effective parents allow their children to do chores. Look at all the ways your children mindlessly use technology when they do their daily chores: Emptying the dishwasher, loading their own clothes into the washing machine, and removing those same clothes from the dryer. You do have your kids wash their own clothes, right? Research shows that 3-year-olds can help sort, 4-year-olds can help fold, 5-year-olds can put away their own clothes, 6-year olds can empty the dryer by folding what’s in there, and 7-year olds can use the washing machine without assistance. What did your child learn while doing these tasks? RESPONSIBILITY. Take this a step further and help them understand how the TECHNOLOGY of the machines work that you have taught them to use.
- Effective parents offer choices frequently. When children learn to make choices at an early age, they become decisive enough to develop CONFIDENCE in their own ability to solve problems. This personality characteristic is key to a successful ENGINEERING career. Why? Because engineers need to constantly tweak their systems and make decisions regarding the effectiveness of those decisions. So, offer choices you and your child can each accept – which healthy breakfast cereal to buy, how many broccoli florets to eat, and which story to read before bedtime. The list can go on and on when you learn that children who make decisions early in life can make intelligent decisions as adults.
- Effective parents take random opportunities to teach MATHEMATICS. A prime example of this is to show your children how you budget the family income. They will learn that there are needs that come before wants. They will learn that sometimes you need PATIENCE achieve a financial goal. Northwestern University researcher Greg Duncan noted that "mastery of early math skills predicts not only future math achievement, it also predicts future reading achievement." Why? Because math involves the relationship of patterns. READING is also the relationship of letters to each other in a pattern.
- Effective parents cooperate with each other. If you want your children to learn COOPERATION, you need to model that behavior for your children. If you disagree, which happens in all families, try to keep the disagreement away from the children. At the very least, show them how you have agreed to disagree, as the saying goes. When children see their parents speaking respectfully rather than sarcastically, they learn how to treat their family, their friends, and their teachers with RESPECT.
You don’t need to be rich, famous, or popular to be an effective STEM-C® parent. You simply need to help your child accept responsibility for his or her behavior through positive role modeling and a loving home where everyone respects each other.
Entelechy Education, LLC offers a variety of books, games, and other learning aids that include our signature STEM-C® Literacy. Which one is best for YOUR family?