Let’s learn more about how to make your child a better observer.
Does your child sometimes make observations based on others’ body language that you hadn’t even noticed? Has your kid been running around and wouldn’t sit still? Does your kid ask a lot of questions, sometimes really absurd ones? If your answer to all the above questions is YES, then congratulations! You are encouraging a great observer by the method of observational learning.
What is observational learning? How is it different from other learning methods?
Observational learning, like its name suggests, is a type of learning that happens through observation. American psychologist Albert Bandura stressed that individuals may simply learn from the behavior rather than imitate it. However, you as a parent should not understand it as learning pure imitation. It also involves inferring and using the information learned aptly. Observational learning is a newer approach to teaching your kids concepts and complex material in opposition to the traditional methods of teaching and learning.
How does it benefit my child?
Observational learning helps children with various things like your child becomes more attentive, they retain the learned information for a longer period of time, makes them more confident, it also determines how well your child adapts and reacts to different situations, observational learning also increases your child’s motivation to name a few.
A Lot of the latest research suggests that kids are born with sharp observation skills and innate abilities to use their senses. They have a much more active ‘mirror neuron’ system that helps them learn faster through observation; this is how they learn various activities like making, identifying, and differentiating between facial expressions. If a girl sees another child fall into ice she would avoid stepping into ice etc.
What can I do to make my child a better observer?
As a parent or an educator, teaching children how to observe better will enable them to have important social and people skills. Here are some tips and tricks which you can use to make your child a better observer:
1: Let them take the lead:
By letting children lead a certain task you are not only tapping their leadership abilities but also giving them room to observe more. For example, if you are walking along a road ask your child to remember the road saying they have to guide you on your way back. Doing these kinds of activities will tap all their senses and increase their eyes for detail.
2: Ask and let them ask:
Probing your child would help them to think of more possibilities and come up with more solutions and observations. Along with that allow the kids to ask questions, by giving them time and space to make their own observations. For example, You bought a new vase in the house, instead of showing it to the child directly, place it at a place where it’s noticeable and wait for them to notice. Such social skills activities for kids will help them identify changes in their surroundings and promote their inner detective to grow their eye for detail.
3: Take them to different and more stimulative social settings:
In order for children to be better observers, they need a good amount of environmental stimulation. Children have naturally active senses and they soak up any information quickly. Exposing them to different social settings will give them a chance to observe a variety of different things to take up an example in a salon: what tools does the hairdresser use and how are their scissors different from the ones at home. Even if you choose to take them to a mall try to go to a different mall once in a while.