The Basics of Educating Your Child

The Basics of Educating Your Child

Cre­ate an envi­ron­ment of secu­rity, help her develop self-esteem, help her feel pos­i­tive about life, help her make sense of expe­ri­ence, be author­i­ta­tive and help her emu­late role models.

Chil­dren have to be edu­cated, but they have also to be left to edu­cate them­selves.” ~ Ernest Dimnet

Affec­tion, atten­tion, inde­pen­dence, stim­u­la­tion, nov­elty and choice of action pos­i­tively influ­ence a child’s devel­op­ment. Know­ing your child will enable deter­mine the opti­mum amount, fre­quency or inten­si­ties that is good for her healthy development.

Cre­ate an envi­ron­ment of security

Your child needs a sense of secu­rity – feel­ings of being strongly con­nected and deeply attached.  Remem­ber that it’s impor­tant to make her feel loved, wanted and sig­nif­i­cant. Be kind and warm to her while respond­ing to her. Actions such as pick­ing her up, com­fort­ing her, get­ting angry or scold­ing her will help her per­ceive what mat­ters and respond hon­estly and authentically.

Help her develop self-esteem

Your child needs self-esteem. Tell her per­sonal attrib­utes that are impor­tant cri­te­rion for self-esteem – quiet, dainty, well-mannered and aca­d­e­m­i­cally pre­co­cious. Be firm, but not puni­tive while imple­ment­ing judge­ments. Nur­ture her self-esteem through­out the grow­ing years.

Help her feel pos­i­tive about life

Let her feel that life is authen­tic, sat­is­fy­ing and inter­est­ing, which makes it worth liv­ing. Involve her in activ­i­ties that she finds intrigu­ing and absorb­ing. Remem­ber that triv­ial, phony, friv­o­lous or super­fi­cial envi­ron­ments or expe­ri­ences are haz­ards – resist activ­i­ties that merely amuse or tit­il­late her. Select activ­i­ties that help her exam­ine her own expe­ri­ences, recon­struct her own envi­ron­ments, and give you oppor­tu­ni­ties to help her learn from her own experiences.

Help her make sense of experience

Your child needs your help to make sense of her own expe­ri­ences. You’re respon­si­ble for help­ing her improve, extend, refine, develop, and deepen their con­struc­tions and under­stand­ings of her expe­ri­ences. Help her develop under­stand­ings of other people’s expe­ri­ences as she gets older. Help her believe that refine­ment and deep­en­ing of under­stand­ings is a life­long process.

Be author­i­ta­tive

Be warm, sup­port­ive, encour­ag­ing and offer expla­na­tions while exer­cis­ing author­ity. Treat her with respect and let her feel that her opin­ions, feel­ings, wishes and ideas are valid even if you dis­agree with them. Help her under­stand that being wise involves respect­ing the ideas, wishes and feel­ings of oth­ers that are dif­fer­ent from hers.

Help her emu­late role models

Make a list of qual­i­ties that you want her to learn and help her asso­ciate with adults and other kids, who serve as role mod­els. Remem­ber that chil­dren need rela­tion­ships with adults will­ing to take a stand on things worth doing, worth hav­ing, worth know­ing and worth car­ing about.  Help her cul­ti­vate capac­i­ties to respect alter­na­tive ver­sions of “good life.”


Smidt, S. (2010). Key Issues in Early Years Edu­ca­tion. Rout­ledge. Madi­son Avenue, New York.


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