Children don’t listen well. Anyone who has ever had children knows this. They especially do not want to listen to their parents. It seems to be a natural reaction for them to disregard what their parents say.
I have experienced firsthand what this is like. It isn’t fun for me or my children. It is frustrating, because I only wanted the best for my children. I don’t want them to make the same “mistakes” I made. I struggled for a while trying to figure out how I could help my children to benefit from my experiences and understanding. How could I transfer my knowledge to them?
Children Can Be Difficult
One afternoon, my 2-year-old son asked me for help. I saw him randomly taking puzzle pieces and trying to fit them together. Seeing his situation, I sat down to help. I started by explaining the types of pieces; the edge piece the middle piece, and the corner pieces. After a little bit of explaining, I tried to see if he understood what I said. He looked at me with a blank stare and continued to do exactly what he was doing before. I started to realize the problem isn’t that he wasn’t listening, the problem is that he didn’t understand what I had said or how to apply it. Parents spend time telling their children what to do but how much do they understand?
The problem might not be with the child listening; the problem might be with the parent having unrealistic expectations. Trying to teach the child something that they are not capable of understanding yet. Teaching is difficult because people are very complex, they have an emotional capacity, they have an intellectual capacity, physical capacity, a level of life experience, and maturity level. Due to these factors, when you teach, how you teach, what you teach, the way you approach them, the words you say, the tone of your voice, the loudness of your voice, your body language, all of these can determine if a child is understanding what you are saying.
Many times teaching a child is like, telling a lawyer, that never worked on a car his entire life, to fix a broken down sports utility vehicle. Yes, the lawyer might know the words you are saying, he might even understand what you are asking him to do, but he still won’t be able to fix the car.
The Logic & Leadership Academy taught by the Leadership Society of Arizona (LSA) creates a structure for students to be able to learn quicker and improve their understanding of life. The goal is to ensure at the end of the course, they not only know core competencies, but they know how to use them, and they know what to do, without being told. In other words, they are able to listen, learn, and apply. To help students learn 5x faster the Leadership Society of Arizona has developed a more simple way to teach children. Some of the things we do to ensure we are not teaching something the child does not understand is:
1. We simplify the curriculum
Instead of teaching technical information, where you have to memorize lots of information and know lots of details, we simplify. We teach the students natural laws and logic. It minimizes the amount of information that needs to be relayed. Lessons can be taught in 15 minutes. For example, the law of gravity. When you understand the law, you no longer need to know all the details of a situation, but you know if someone is holding up a water bottle, and they release it, the bottle will fall. You can release it in Europe, Australia, behind your back, in the forest, it will still fall. We teach students natural laws dealing with people, life, and school.
2. We let the student determine what they learn
Because we teach the students natural laws and logic, they apply in all areas of life. This then allows the student to choose what area they would like to learn and apply the natural law to. This ensures the student is learning something they are ready for. If the student chooses a topic and they don’t understand it or like it, they are free to look at something else.
3. We have expert teachers teach the students
Our teachers all have graduate degrees and are mentored at least 3 years by a professor before they are allowed to teach on their own. They go through training in psychology, engineering, and management.
4. We focus on practical applications
We help the child to apply what they learn to what they see. The program focuses on helping the child to apply the ideas to things relevant in the student’s life. Based upon what they are going through and what is important to them, it creates assignments to help the child apply the concepts.
Coronado After-School Program
Coronado High School was one of the first schools to hire LSA to see what we could do with their children. The school is comprised of 73% disadvantaged and minority students. As we started the program, we could immediately see a lack of family support, teacher guidance, and self-confidence that the students faced. Many of these students were living with single parents, struggling financially and performing poorly in school. We had a month of instruction (eight sessions) to make an impact in the lives of these eight students. With the help of Fran Prather (Coronado Instructor), we were able to see significant results from the program.
In the class, we make goals with the children and each child has a different goal. These goals are created by the children based on what they want to improve. These goals are a structure to help them improve themselves and see progress. These are some of the goals and results of students in the class:
Student Goal: Talking to my mother 15 mins a day
Result: After a week of talking and listening to his mother, this student saw a change in the attitude of his mother. She was less angry, more loving, and more open about struggles in her life. It caused such a change in the family environment that he said that he will do this for the rest of his life.
Student Goal: Help to relieve parents stress by doing chores
Result: After setting this goal, the student started to clean his house, do the laundry and talk to his parents. His parents were pleasantly surprised by his change in attitude and behavior.
Student Goal: Studying for 30-60 mins/day
Result: This student consistently studied for 30-60mins/day after school. This allowed him to finish all his homework daily and improve his grades.
Student Goal: Spending more time with family
Result: This student didn’t usually like spending time with her family but decided to try it out. After spending more time with her family, she realized how similar she was with her parents. Her family noted a greater sense of unity in their home and planned more activities that they could do as a family.
Our children are listening more than we think but how much are they understanding? When parents make things simple, children will understand and make good choices! The difficult part for parents is making explanations simple enough for their children to understand it. The Logic & Leadership Academy creates a simple structure for students to apply simple concepts that will help them to understand the value in listening to their parents. As we make our education more simplistic and less complex, our children will be capable of make better choices.