The concept of lazy parenting or providing might seem like a hoax. Let me be clear that it's not. Being lazy doesn't have to mean being uncaring or uninvolved. Just discriminating.
Someone who knows when to get involved and when to step back and let them learn to trust themselves is the best teacher they could have.
Here are some tips to help you with it.
Children learn by observation so if you want to raise a reader and a lifelong learner, grab a book, magazine, or cereal box and dig in. Let your kids see you read for enjoyment at least once every single day and more on the weekends. That's because humans are born with something called mirror neurons that help us to learn from others. So if you want to raise children who love to read, just do it!
And if you're a provider, make sure you include some booktime each day where they get to choose books, but don't have a lot of other options for a short period of time. It really helps with their attention and enjoyment.
Teach your children to solve problems like this. Watch them and listen first and then give them the least amount of help they need to succeed. That way, you feel like you're teaching them something rather than doing it for them and you won't get so frustrated. This method is called scaffolding. It's one of the most well-researched concepts in education and it works. (Vygotsky)
Tip: Make sure you focus on your child's efforts moore than on any finished product. Growth is key. Process over product is developmentally appropriate during the early years.
Take them to the playground. Since a young child's development progresses from the inside out, they have to do a lot of running, climbing, and moving before they can be expected to hold a pencil or complete a puzzle.
Insist on recess at child care and at school. Let them play "house" Make sure they have plenty of time to play in the sandbox and in the bathtub. When your children are engaged in an activity they love, it's because they're learning. When they're busy learning, you can just relax and watch them. You've earned it!
Floortime is a method for engaging kids in their own learning that was developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan. This is the laziest method yet and also the best way to grow your child's language abilities and help them feel more confident in making choices.
It's backed by a lot of research and it helps your kids because it teaches them to make good decisions. You can learn all about how to do Floortime here. So grab the beverage of your choice, and engage your child in their own learning. It just might last a lifetime!
Nanci J Bradley is an early childhood and family educator, author, teacher, and an all-around fun-loving person. She believes in the power of sleep, healthy eating, lifelong learning, and most of all, PLAY! She studied early childhood ed at Triton College and received her BS in education in 1986 from NIU. She received her MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in 2009. She lives and teaches in Madison WI.