These Expert Tips Can Help Your Child Beat Exam Stress!

help your child beat exam stress

Tests and exams can be a major source of stress during the schooling years for both children and their parents. However, there are ways to help your child cope with the pressure and ace the exams.

Here are some simple pointers to help you get started:

1. Look out for the signs of exam stress

Recognise the warning signs that your child is feeling stressed or on the verge of burning out. Some common signs of stress include:

  • Irritable
  • Not sleeping well
  • Low mood
  • Low confidence
  • Queasy tummy, headache or flare up of skin conditions such as eczema

Having your child talk to someone about their work can help to ease their worries and keep things in perspective. This can be a parent, tutor or friend – just as long as they feel comfortable talking to them about their challenges.

If you sense that your child is still not coping well with exam stress, it might be worthwhile to talk to their teachers in school and come up with a game plan to help him/her manage the stress, both at home and in school.

2. Set goals and expectations that are achievable

According to Dr. Ramya Mohan, a London-based consultant psychiatrist, it is important for parents to understand and focus on their child’s strengths and interests, while at the same time acknowledge their weaknesses.

You can tell them stories about how other children with similar weak points braved through the challenges or how they managed to overcome all obstacles with the help of a mentor. This can help children work out solutions to their own difficulties in a gentler, more inspiring way. At the end of the day, the key lesson to reinforce is that failure is part of the learning process and that we all learn from our mistakes.

3. Set up a cosy study corner

When your child is studying or going through their homework, it is necessary to set up a study corner that is comfortable and conducive to work in, while keeping distractions away. All the materials needed should be within reach so that they do not have to spend time to track them down – this includes the basics such as pens, pencils, sticky notes, printer and paper, as well as electronic devices such as tablets and laptops/PC.

Will your child be facing PSLE next year? Get an early head start with the preparations with MindChamps’ PSLE Success™ programme – enquire now!

4. Help your child with the prep work

Guide your child in planning ahead for their exams by setting up the following in your home:

  • Pin up the exam schedule in a visible place (e.g. on the fridge), as this helps to ensure that everyone in the family is aware.
  • Create a revision timeline and a set of to-do list to work on as the exam day draws near.

On top of the revision preparations, ensure that your child takes notes of all the minor details during exam day, such as the time to report in for the exam and the room in which the exam will be conducted. Having all these details in mind can help to minimise their worry on the day itself.

5. Talk about exam nerves

It is natural for your child to feel nervous during the exam period, but you can help him/her get through this in a positive way. Remind your child of the work he/she has put into studying and the amount of knowledge that he/she has by now, as these could go a long way to give your nervous child that much-needed confident boost.

 

Want to know how study breaks, nutritious meals and a good night’s sleep help your child cope with exam stress? More on this on the next page.

The Rubber Band Method of Disciplining Children

“Your kids require you most of all to love them for who they are, not to spend your whole time trying to correct them.” – Bill Ayers

 

rubber band method of discipline

As parents, we are aware of the importance of disciplining our children. As we try to instil good values in them to set them off on the path to good behaviour, we soon realise that disciplining a child is no walk in the park.

While there are many methods of disciplining children, there is the ‘Rubber Band method of discipline’ which we highly recommend you give a try – this might just be what you need to get your children to respond to you positively!

What is the ‘Rubber Band Method of Discipline’?

Contrary to what the name implies, this method of discipline does not involve flicking rubber bands at your children when they misbehave. Instead, the rubber bands are for you and they serve as reminders to put love above all else when handling trying moments with your children.

Here’s how the method works:

  • Place 3 rubber bands on your right wrist at the start of the day.
  • As you go through the day, make it a point to praise your child at least 3 times instead of resorting to threats and time-outs.
  • For each time that you praise your child, move a rubber band to your left wrist.
  • At the end of the day, take note of how many rubber bands there are on your left wrist – these indicate your progress in disciplining your children with love.

How to get started

Say for instance you are trying to get your children ready for bath time and dinner thereafter. Despite your reminders, they insist on continuing with their colouring activity. You are running out of patience and in your mind, the easiest way to handle this is to raise your voice at them.

Before you get there, take a deep breath to calm down and suggest to your children that they could continue their colouring activity after dinner. They will respond to your suggestion positively and when that happens, shift a rubber band to your left wrist.

The remaining rubber bands on your right wrist are reminders to praise your children during the day while the one on your left wrist acts like a “feel good” motivator to encourage you.

 

What can we learn from adopting this rubber band method of discipline with our children? Find out more on the next page…

Psychologists Say That Children Develop Better When We Let Them Be Bored

children develop better when bored

“I’m bored, Mum!”

“Dad, there is nothing for me to do!”

 

These simple phrases from our children have the power to grab our attention, and for most of us, the first thought that comes to mind is to help them “solve” their problem right away. We respond to our children’s boredom by filling their days with structured activities and after-school programmes, but experts say that this is counter-productive for their development – children need to learn to manage unstructured time by themselves as this skill will greatly benefit them later on in life.

“Your role as a parent is to prepare [your] children to take their place in society. Being an adult means occupying yourself and filling up your leisure time in a way that will make you happy,” says Lyn Fry, a London-based child psychologist with a focus on education. “If parents spend all their time filling up their child’s spare time, then the child’s never going to learn to do this for themselves,” she emphasised.

Why is unstructured time so important for children?

Unstructured time offers children the opportunity to explore the world they live in and inspires creativity in them. Through this process, they learn to engage with themselves and the world as they set off to imagine, invent and create.

Having some unstructured time also encourages children to explore their interests and passions. By filling all their spare time with lessons and structured activities, they won’t be able to learn to respond to the sparks of ideas that goes through their heads, leading them to exercise their creativity by shaping a clay creature, writing a short story or song or simply observing a trail of ants in the kitchen. This inner voice plays an important role in leading us to pursue passions which bring meaning to life.

Most importantly, unstructured time also provides children the experience of deciding how to fill their days with activities that are worthwhile – and this forms the basis of time management, a skill which will greatly benefit them as they grow up as teens and adults.

At MindChamps PreSchool, children are given unstructured time after curriculum hours. Book a centre visit now to find out more!

Why do children say that they are bored?

After some minor complaining, most children eventually find something interesting to occupy their free time. Since play is a form of “work” for children, they are always happy to enjoy some form of self-directed play. It is through this experience that they learn to manage the emotions and experiences they have had.

However, some children might have a harder time than others in occupying their free time due to the following factors:

  • They are used to structured time, which causes them to struggle in finding fun things to do during their free time
  • Screen time is a huge part of their lives, and they are not accustomed to “looking inside” themselves for direction
  • They simply need some connection time with mum and dad after a long day

 

So, what should you do when your children express their boredom to you? More on this plus 40 boredom-busting activities to get them out from the rut on the next page.

The Bruised and Beautiful Apple: What Your Child Needs to Know About Bullying

bullying in children

Bullying in children is common and not harmful most of the times if it is done in a playful, mutual way and both parties see the humour in it. However, when the teasing and name-calling become hurtful, unkind and constant, it crosses the line into bullying and this needs to stop immediately.

Bullying involves tormenting a person in physical, verbal or psychological ways and is done intentionally. This can range from hitting, shoving, name-calling, threats and extorting money and possessions. Some children bully by spreading false rumours about their victim while others use social media or text messages to taunt or hurt their feelings.

It is important that parents take bullying seriously and not brush it off as a phase that their children need to endure. The effects can be serious as it damages children’s sense of safety and self-worth.

 

Looking to improve the way your child think, learn and interact with the world? Find out how MindChamps’ Professor Snyder’s Thinking Cap Learning System can help you with that – book a complimentary coaching session for your child now!

 

A relevant lesson in bullying

Rosie Dutton, a coach of children’s programme Relax Kids in the UK, wrote a Facebook post about how she taught the concept of kindness to her class. Since the post was published, it has received a massive amount of praises as this doubles up as a lesson on bullying in children as well.

bullying in children
The bruised apples which Rosie used to teach kindness to her students. (Photo: Rosie’s Facebook page)

Here is what Rosie wrote on her page:

“Today in one of our classes I introduced the children to two apples (the children didn’t know this, but before the class I had repeatedly dropped one of the apples on the floor, you couldn’t tell, both apples looked perfect).

We talked about the apples and the children described how both apples looked the same; both were red, were of similar size and looked juicy enough to eat. I picked up the apple I’d dropped on the floor and started to tell the children how I disliked this apple, that I thought it was disgusting, it was a horrible colour and the stem was just too short. I told them that because I didn’t like it, I didn’t want them to like it either, so they should call it names too.

Some children looked at me like I was insane, but we passed the apple around the circle calling it names, ‘you’re a smelly apple’, ‘I don’t even know why you exist’, ‘you’ve probably got worms inside you’ etc. We really pulled this poor apple apart. I actually started to feel sorry for the little guy. We then passed another apple around and started to say kind words to it, ‘You’re a lovely apple’, ‘Your skin is beautiful’, ‘What a beautiful colour you are’ etc. I then held up both apples, and again, we talked about the similarities and differences. There was no change, both apples still looked the same.

I then cut the apples open. The apple we’d been kind to was clear, fresh and juicy inside. The apple we’d said unkind words to was bruised and all mushy inside. I think there was a lightbulb moment for the children immediately. They really got it, what we saw inside that apple, the bruises, the mush and the broken bits is what is happening inside every one of us when someone mistreats us with their words or actions.

When people are bullied, especially children, they feel horrible inside and sometimes don’t show or tell others how they are feeling. If we hadn’t have cut that apple open, we would never have known how much pain we had caused it. I shared my own experience of suffering someone’s unkind words last week. On the outside I looked OK, I was still smiling. But, on the inside someone had caused me a lot of pain with their words and I was hurting.

Unlike an apple, we have the ability to stop this from happening. We can teach children that it’s not ok to say unkind things to each other and discuss how it makes others feel. We can teach our children to stand up for each other and to stop any form of bullying, just as one little girl did today when she refused to say unkind words to the apple. More and more hurt and damage happens inside if nobody does anything to stop the bullying. Let’s create a generation of kind, caring children.”

 

As a parent, what can you do if you suspect/know that your child is being bullied at school? More on this on the next page…

25 Different Ways to Ask Your Child “How Was School Today?”

how to talk to your child about school

Don’t we all want to know all about our children’s day at school – like if they made new friends, or if the math teacher was talking too fast? Yet, when you pose the question “So, how was school today?” to your child, chances are the answer you get would go along the lines of “Great!” or “It was alright, I guess”.

Feeling exasperated with your child’s response? Well, it looks like they feel just as stressed with being asked that question as well!

Find out what goes on during a typical day at MindChamps PreSchool and how the curriculum brings out the champion learner in your child.

According to Michael Thompson, Ph.D., author of The Pressured Child, ‘How was school today?’ is a frustrating question for both parents and kids. “Parents never get the answer they want and often don’t understand how difficult this question really is. Without meaning to, parents are asking for a summary but kids don’t summarise the way adults do. So most kids just say ‘fine’ or try to avoid the question entirely,” he shares. To add on to this, Dr. Lawrence Cohen, author of “Playful Parenting” says that many parents repeat this question if they fail to get a “good enough response” because they are not sure how else to ask it.

Thankfully, with some tweaks to the way you ask the question, both you and your child might have a nicer conversation about their day at school. Here’s a list of 25 questions to help you get started:

  1. What was the best thing that happened at school today?
  2. What was the worst thing that happened at school today?
  3. Tell me one thing that made you laugh today.
  4. Given a choice, who would you sit next to in class? Why?
  5. Who would you NOT want to sit next to – and why?
  6. What is your favourite place to be in school?
  7. Tell me a strange word you heard today. (Or something strange which someone said to you)
  8. If I talked to your teacher right now, what would she tell me about you?
  9. What did you do today to make someone’s day better?
  10. How did someone help to make your day better?
  11. Tell me one thing you learnt today.
  12. What made you the happiest today?
  13. What bored you to tears today?
  14. Who would you like to play with at recess that you have never played with before?
  15. Tell me something good that happened today.
  16. What word did your teacher use the most today?
  17. What do you think you should do/learn more in school?
  18. What do you think you should do/learn less of in school?
  19. Who among your classmates do you think could be nicer to you? What do you do when he/she is not being nice to you?
  20. Where do you hang out the most during recess?
  21. What do you like the most about recess?
  22. Who is the funniest person in your class? Why is that so?
  23. If you could be the teacher tomorrow, what would you do?
  24. If you could change places in class, who would you trade with? Why?
  25. Tell me 3 things you used your pencil for today.

These open-ended questions serve as a non-threatening way to find out how your child really feels about school and his/her interactions with friends and teachers. On the other hand, they also open the door for a discussion by asking “why” questions (Tip: Be prepared to be surprised with the answers they give you), and this helps you get to the root of issues you may not know your child was going through.

 

Suggested Reading:

12 Ways to Raise a Competent, Confident Child with Grit

How to Raise a Happy Child: 10 Tips Backed by Science

How Parents and Teachers Can Work Together

 

 

How Birth Order Affects Your Child’s Personality

Children with ABC mat

Researchers believe that birth order is just as important as gender and almost as important as genetics when it comes to your child’s personality. Dr. Kevin Leman, a psychologist who studied birth order since 1967 and author of The Birth Order Book: Why You Are The Way You Are, shares that in most cases, the first born and second born in a family are as different as night and day in the way they behave and react to the things around them.

Childhood experts such as Meri Wallace, a child and family therapist with over 20 years’ experience and author of Birth Order Blues, agree with Dr. Leman on the connection between birth order and personality. Wallace further explained that up to a certain extent, this link could be attributed to the way parents relate to their child based on his/her standing in the family among siblings. To add on to that, other experts found that children’s personalities are also shaped based on the way they change their behaviour to get their parents’ attention.

So, what traits and behaviour can you expect from your children based on their “rank” in the family? Let’s take a quick look at some common traits, as observed by experts:

The First Born Child

Due to the fact that they had so much control and attention from their first-time parents who raised them “by the book”, firstborns can be described as “the responsible one” and “the careful one”. In simpler terms, firstborns are almost like a miniature version of their parents as they try to dominate their siblings.

Experts agree that firstborns like “being in charge” and are very confident about everything. However, they might also experience a sense of loss with the arrival of a younger sibling as all of the attention that was exclusively theirs must now be shared.

Some common traits of firstborns include:

  • Reliable
  • Conscientious
  • Structured
  • Cautious
  • Controlling
  • Achiever

Learn how the programmes at MindChamps can help with your child’s progress in school. Book a complimentary personal coaching session with our Education Advisors today!

The Middle Child

While they can be cooperative and flexible, middle children can also be competitive and are concerned with fairness. According to Wallace, the middle child often feels left out and a sense of ‘Well, I’m not the oldest. I’m not the youngest. Who am I?’. This form of hierarchical floundering leads middle children to pick a close circle of friends to represent their extended family and it is here that they find the attention that is lacking from their own parents, as this is often shifted to the firstborn or baby of the family.

Middle children will never excel in the same areas as their older sibling and their personality traits will be the opposite of their eldest and youngest siblings.

Thus, middle children tend to be:

  • Somewhat rebellious
  • People pleasers
  • Ones who thrive on friendships and have a large social circle
  • Peacemakers

 

What qualities can you expect from the baby of the family and the only child? More on this on the next page.

10 Stories about Singapore to Read with Your children

As we celebrate Singapore’s birthday this August, you might want to take a walk down memory lane and paint a picture in your child’s mind of how our Little Red Dot progressed from its sleepy state to the bustling city it is today.

These books will definitely come in handy to help your little champs learn and discover more about Singapore, its founding leaders and to see for themselves how different life was back then.

1. The Timmy & Tammy series

stories about singapore
(Photo: Timmy and Tammy Facebook)

In this book series for pre-schoolers, young readers are taken on colourful adventures all over Singapore – from popular spots like the Singapore Flyer and Chinatown to everyday places such as the food court and MRT. Through these stories, young readers will get to brush up their reading skills and have fun with the activity at the back.

Author: Ruth Wan

 

2. A Boy Named Harry: The Childhood of Lee Kuan Yew

stories about singapore
(Photo: Epigram Books)

The late MM Lee spent his growing up years doing what other kids his age did in the 1920s: playing with spinning tops, marbles, kites, and fighting fish. Playtime aside, he was also a hardworking student who worked his way to earn a scholarship at the prestigious Raffles College.

Parents, you can use this picture book to share the values and contributions of our founding father with your kids, while encouraging them to work hard towards their goals and dreams.

Author: Patrick Yee

 

3. Danger Dan Tackles The Majulah Mayhem

stories about singapore
(Photo: Closetful of Books)

Get ready to go on a time-travelling adventure with superheroes Danger Dan and Gadget Girl. Here, they are faced with the challenge of stopping the composer of the Singapore national anthem from giving up on music. But the time warp is a whole lot more than Danger Dan expected, with riots, spicy noodles and a flood standing in their way.

Authors: Lesley-Anne and Monica Lim

 

4. Secrets of Singapore

stories about singapore
(Photo: Closetful of Books)

Danger Dan and Gadget Girl are back, this time to uncover our nation’s past – all the way from the Sang Nila Utama era in 1299 right up to the glory days of independence in 1965.

Join this superhero pair as they investigate intriguing areas seldom found in history books and unearth facts such as:

  • How long was the very first MRT ride?
  • Which animals have escaped the Singapore Zoo?
  • Where can one see a tiger car? (What is a tiger car, anyway?)

Get your answers to these questions in Danger Dan and Gadget Girl’s guide to Singapore’s past!

Authors: Lesley-Anne and Monica Lim

 

5. Makan Time!

stories about singapore
(Photo: Closetful of Books)

Sarah looks forward to going out with Grandpa because it always means that it’s Makan Time!

Join Sarah and her grandfather in this bilingual picture book as they discover local cuisines such as Nasi Lemak and Roti Prata. If there’s one lesson to be learnt from these foodie adventures, it’s got to be that every day is a new journey waiting to be unveiled if we open our hearts and minds by trying new things.

Author: Sharon Ismail (Translated by Rilla Melati Bahri)

 

Have you heard of the tale of a “Peranakan woman who lived in a shoe”? More on this and other stories about our little red dot on the next page.

What is the Difference Between Preschool, Childcare and Kindergarten?

difference between preschool, childcare and kindergarten

Preschool.

Childcare centre.

Kindergarten.

These three terms are all it takes to baffle first-time parents in Singapore who are looking for care arrangements and/or an early learning programme for their children during the tender years. But what is the difference between these early childhood education providers and which one should you opt for?

A Preschool Programme

In Singapore, preschool is used as a general term which refers to any institution providing early childhood care and education services.

On the other hand, there are two types of early childhood education providers who offer preschool programmes, namely childcare centres and kindergartens. Statistics that were updated as of July 2015 shows that there are 1,196 childcare centres and 499 kindergartens in Singapore (Source: ECDA). All matters related to the operations of childcare centres and kindergartens are regulated by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA).

So how do childcare centres and kindergartens differ? In the list that follows are some factors that differentiate childcare centres and kindergartens:

 

Age Group of Children

Childcare centres: Typically cater for children from 18 months to 6 years old. Some childcare centres also provide infant care services for babies from 2 months.

Kindergartens: Enrolment in kindergartens is only open for children between 3 to 6 years old.

 

Class Timing

Childcare centres: The type of services offered by childcare centres varies from centre to centre. Most childcare centres offer the option of a full-day programme which operates on weekdays from 7am to 7pm, and a half-day programme which runs from 7am to 1pm or from 1pm to 7pm. Some childcare centres may also operate on Saturdays from 7am to 1pm.  On top of these common programme structures, there are a handful of childcare centres which offer flexible programmes as well.

Kindergartens: Kindergarten programmes usually last for 3 hours a day on weekdays and can run either from 8am to 11am or from 12pm to 3pm. The exact timing may vary from kindergarten to kindergarten.

The unique MindChamps PreSchool curriculum nurtures all aspects of children from 18 months to 6 years old and includes academic and enrichment programmes. Book a centre visit to find out more!

Education Approach

Childcare centres: Some childcare centres follow a specific early education approach (e.g. Montessori, Reggio Emilia or Waldorf), while the rest adopt a mixed approach with the addition of local elements to give pre-schoolers a smooth transition to primary school. The focus of the programme could also range from an academic to a play-based one.

Kindergartens: Kindergarten programmes are generally academic-focused, with the objective of preparing children to meet the challenges of formal education.

 

Closure of Centre/School Holidays

Childcare centres: Childcare centres are closed on Sundays, half-day of any 3 public holidays and an additional 5.5 days in a year (2.5 days will be used for staff training).

Kindergartens: Kindergartens follow the same school terms and holidays as primary schools, based on the dates released by MOE.

 

Meals

Childcare centres: As childcare centres offer comprehensive care, children will be given 2 meals (breakfast and lunch) and 1 to 2 snacks (morning/afternoon, or both).

Kindergartens: Due to the short duration of the kindergarten programme, children will be given light snacks in between lessons – no meals will be served.

 

Government Subsidy

Childcare centres: Singapore citizen children whose mother/single father works 56 hours or more per month qualify for subsidies on their childcare fees. The subsidy amount is dependent on factors such as household income and type of childcare programmes that their children are enrolled in.

Kindergarten: School fees for kindergarten are not subsidised. However, families whose household income do not exceed $6,000 may apply for financial assistance.

 

 

Warning: You Might Be Ruining Your Child’s Love of Reading by Doing These Things!

things that ruin your child's love of reading

Studies have linked the benefits of reading to children from birth as one of the key factors that determine their success in school as this builds up their ability to read and comprehend. In fact, numerous studies conducted over the years have shown the impact reading can have on a child’s brain development.

An excerpt from The Child Trends Data Bank cites this:

“Children develop literacy skills and an awareness of language long before they are able to read. Since language development is fundamental to all areas of learning, skills developed early in life can help set the stage for later school success. By reading aloud to their young children, parents help them acquire the skills they will need to be ready for school.”

In our bid to raise our children to love and enjoy reading, we try various ways to keep them interested and engaged while reading to them. However, in the midst of building their interest, some of the things that you do might result in the opposite direction by ruining your child’s love of reading.

Here are some common mistakes parents make while reading to their child:

You think that every page needs to be read

Most parents read to their children with the expectation that it is mandatory to read every single page and that their aspiring readers would sit through while the story is being told.

In reality, young children do not “read” in this manner. They are at the stage where patience runs low and probably would not mind if you miss a few consecutive pages and get right to their favourite part of the story.

Another important thing to note is that during the early years, the aim of reading should be to expose them to words, rhythm and tone – as well as the fact that books are fun as they take our minds on a creative learning adventure.

You don’t always have to be the one who “reads”

Reading sessions with your child are not only for you to read to them and ask questions along the way.

Once children are able to sit down and grasp a book, they also develop an interest in “reading” the story aloud. This usually involves them mumbling a string of words while turning the pages. As their vocabulary grows, they will progress to “telling” their stories through the use of words, inflection and by looking at the illustrations in the book to figure out the storyline.

There should not be a limit on books

On certain days, your child might surprise you by bringing 10 books for you to read, despite your instructions of “one book at bedtime”. Depending on your schedule, do try your best not to discourage or deprive them of their request.

By letting your child decide on how many books to read at that time, it helps to give him/her a sense of control while developing his/her independence. But above all, complying with your child’s request goes a long way to instil a love of reading in your child when he/she sees that you love books as much as he/she does.

Reading their favourite book repeatedly may not be such a bad thing

Once your child finds a book that he/she just can’t seem to get enough of, be prepared to have him/her insist that you both read it every single time. While you find this monotonous, do give in to their wish and take note that there is a reason why this book happens to be their favourite.

Perhaps it’s the pictures, colours or rhymes that excite them. Or maybe it’s just the way you read it to them that they love. Either way, this helps to extend your child’s attention span and build his/her enthusiasm for reading as he/she would know the story word for word after a while.

 

MindChamps Reading and Writing programmes instil the love of reading in your children from 3 to 8 years old. Find out more here and book for a complimentary literacy assessment now!

Study: Watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood Helps Pre-schoolers Develop Social and Emotional Skills

Your child starts developing social and emotional skills from the moment he/she is born, and this growth continues in the years that follow. The development of these skills during the pre-school years is crucial for your child to excel in primary school and beyond. In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics also states that early social-emotional development “is a fundamental part of a child’s overall health and well-being.”

A group of researchers at Texas Tech University wanted to find out if watching educational kids’ TV programmes such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood (aired on Disney Junior daily in Singapore at 8.30am) could also help in the development of social and emotional skills in pre-schoolers.

developing pre-schoolers social and emotional skills
(Photo credit: Youtube)

What did the study reveal?

In the study conducted over two weeks, 127 pre-schoolers were asked to watch 10 episodes of either Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood or a nature show. Children who watched Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood showed higher levels of empathy, self-efficacy (they displayed confidence in social situations) and the ability to recognise emotions compared to those who watched the nature show.

However, there was an important factor that led to the correlation between watching the show and the socio-emotional skills displayed by the pre-schoolers – the frequent TV sessions had to be complemented with regular parent-child conversations about the content of the show.

Thus, it is apparent that children (especially those below 4) benefit more from watching the show when parental involvement is present.

Looking to enrol your child in preschool? Click this sentence to book a visit to a MindChamps PreSchool centre of your choice to find out more about our programmes!

What does this mean?

The results of the study highlighted the fact that educational TV programmes have evolved to the point whereby they have the ability to maintain a child’s attention, they are developmentally appropriate, they feature characters with whom children can identify with and they incorporate effective teaching techniques that help children learn.

On the other hand, it also means that parents need to play their part by reinforcing the lessons taught in their children’s TV programmes. Propping your children in front of the TV and expecting them to grow academically and develop good social skills would not lead to the desired results.

 

There are some simple activities that you can do with your child to build his/her social and emotional skills during the early years. More on this on the next page…