How to Keep Child in School- A Fresh look at Child Psychology
It is parent’s nightmare when their child dropout from school.
It is every parent’s desire to see their kids go to college and succeed in life. Many kids drop-out from school despite everything parents or school or government’s effort. Psychologist may blame it on genes. Others may resign to fate and some may even blame environment or company they keep or peer pressure. Yet they may be right. What if all of these are wrong? May be something we do at home did pull the plug unconsciously. Can’t we do something about it?
Unconscious and Conscious connection
There is a study out there which believes that unconscious state of mind is reservoir of information that feeds the conscious mind to which we all surrender. Call it manner, behaviour, etiquette, discipline or whatever, conscious state of mind is behind our every move or words we speak.
Executive Control (EC)
Experts now agree that EC has more to do with success than IQ. Mental health also depends on it such as ADHD and addictions.
Part of the brain, Prefrontal Cortex, that makes up EC is not fully developed until the age of 20.
How to improve EC
There are many ways to improve EC. Pick what is appropriate for your child.
Teach your child Music or Karate or Dance. Ask them to memorize scripture or songs. Motion helps them. So don’t reprimand if they don’t sit still while memorizing. Social mingling is better than isolation.
Saying NO is OK
Child must learn to face the world, not parent. For the benefit of the child say NO if you have to. Instant Gratification and impulse approach to task may lead to his down fall. Controlling impulse is the key.
Some of the highlights of the following videos are:
Note: These video are downloaded free (public domain) from DalaiLama.com, Mind & Life XVIII Day 3, Morning session.
Discipline: Inhibitory control allows change possible although not easy. Do not fall for stimuli or distraction.
Working Memory: Holding information in mind while mentally working with it.
Cognitive flexibility: Ability to easily switch perspectives
Attentional Inertia: Attention gets STUCK.
Child can remember more but they lack Cognitive flexibility. For example, a 3 year old child can sort by either shape or color without difficulty. However child fails to sort if rule changes ie first sort by color and then ask to sort by shape. Child fails to understand switch rule.
Some children have difficulty in writing, for example, 9 or 3 and instead write its Mirror Image like 3 for 9. Usually they grow out of it and take months if not years. Video tells that it can be corrected in a minute. Child is asked to pickup another Red Pencil when he is about to write 9. Child will never make the mistake again. That is all it takes.
IQ has less to do with Success
A child remaining in school and graduating from depends more on EC than IQ.
Kids belonging to Economic Poor(KEP)
KEP has less EC at school age compared to rich kids who are more disciplined or had a structured life style. This gap widens over the years unless intervened and receive help.
Kids with less EC are more likely to Dropout from school.
YOUTube Video 1
YOUTube Video 2
YOUTube Video 3
YOUTube Video 4
Several Children were taken one at a time into a room where a sweet and delicious Marshmallow was placed on a plate. The experimenter told them he had to leave and that they could have the marshmallow right then, but if they waited for the experimenter to return from an errand, they could have two marshmallows. Some children eat the Marshmallow within seconds of the experimenter leaving. Others waited up to twenty minutes for the experimenter to return.
Follow-up study showed that many of them who ate Marshmallow right away dropped out of school or scored far less in SAT compared to those who waited for the reward.
YOUTube Video 5
Avoid instant Gratification
Ability to resist a strong inclination/distraction to do unproductive or negative thing instead do what is most productive. Remain focus on task despite setback or boredom. Perseverance pays back eventually.
YOUTube Video 6
Power of Self-Control or Self-Discipline
Self-Discipline is the key for success. Self-control comes through example and practise. Obesity is sign of lack of self-control. We are habituated to easy or shortest path in life and avoid inconvenience. We want to see our children laugh and happy all the time. That is we and we. Life is not full of "we". Child exposed to NO will face the world without "we" much better in life. Isn’t that what you want for your child? No to impulse is YES to success.