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3 Ways You Can Help Your Children Develop Good Learning Habits

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how to help kids develop good habits
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There are a million publications out there on how to raise kids successfully. The truth is, there is no one way that works. But there are a few things that you can do that will give your kids the best possible chance of achieving success—whatever “success” ends up meaning to them.

The best way to help your kids succeed, whether they are still in middle or high school, preparing to begin college, or well into their college years, is to help them develop good learning habits. 

If you set your kids up with good learning habits, you are laying foundations that will help them build a successful future for themselves, and avoid a lot of stress and disappointment along the way. 

What Are Good Learning Habits?

Good learning habits—the basics of how to study well, learn efficiently, and retain information—will help your kids get into the best university that they can. Not just because academic success is crucial in college admissions (it is), but also because those study habits will help them plan ahead and craft successful college applications too. Those same study habits will help your child succeed in college and succeed at whatever professional path they embark on afterwards.

So, if you’re tired of micromanaging their projects, checking in nightly on their homework load, and are worried about how they’ll manage in college—well, you’re probably “fishing” rather than “teaching how to fish.”

Here are the top tips for building successful learning habits, from the ground up:

1. Find or Create a Study Area for Your Child

Whether it is a space at the breakfast table, a nook at the kitchen island, a desk in a quiet study, or even a local library, having a dedicated space for work will help your child focus. When working in a specific space becomes a habit, it will help set a tone of concentration and productivity.

Keep in mind that this space will look different for everyone. Some kids (and some adults too) need a space where they can spread out. Others might work best in public, with a little ambient noise around them, and still, others will need a dedicated quiet zone with no distractions. Rather than impose what you think will work best on your child, work with them to figure out what makes a good workspace for them.

“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

2. Alternate Periods of Uninterrupted Concentration with Short Breaks

Sometimes known as the Pomodoro method, it is well-documented that we work better when we are focused, but that we also need to take a break every now and then. The typical cycle will be 25 minutes of dedicated work time, with absolutely no distractions, followed by a 5-minute break. After three or four of those cycles, take a longer (roughly 15 minutes) break.

While your instinct may be to confiscate your child’s phone for the entirety of the evening study time, this will more likely land you in a never-ending battle and result in decreased productivity for your child. It is better to encourage them to focus completely for these moderate intervals of about 25 minutes, and then allow them five minutes of phone time. This will also enable them to work longer.

Anyone will get worn out after a couple of hours of intense focus with no break, but with shorter intervals and intermittent rewards and breaks, your child can keep up a steady pace of study for the length of the evening and get a lot more done. As a bonus, they are training their brains to focus longer and forming lifelong good habits of productivity.

3. Estimate Required Work Times, and Work on the Hardest Tasks First

The third foundational pillar of good learning habits is to help your child learn to plan ahead and manage their work time effectively. This is a skill that often isn’t learned until the young professional years, so if you are able to instill this in your child early, you will be giving them a huge head start.

For starters, help them develop a habit of assessing their workload—not just what they need to do, but how long each task will take. If possible, they should be doing this not just for each evening’s homework load, but for the week ahead, or at least the next few days. When this becomes a habit, and you will find that your child is able to constantly assess their workload, plan ahead, and manage their time more effectively.

When it comes to actually tackling that workload, encourage them to work on the hardest, most time-consuming tasks first. This way, they will be working on the tasks that require more mental effort and concentration early in the evening (or day) when they are still fresh, rather than late in the evening, when they are tired. They will feel the benefit of this when they are able to coast through the last few tasks of the evening.

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee

Good Study Habits Will Help Them Choose What They Want to do!

When it comes to helping your kid choose a major in college and what they might want to do as a career, the best thing you can do is to have ensured that they have the foundations of good learning habits. 

While the connection may not be clear at first, when your child is constantly struggling to focus and complete tasks, the material often becomes a background factor—it is all about simply “getting it done.”

However, when you create learning habits that empower them to be in control of their work, you free them up to consider—or realize—what they actually ENJOY. This will lead them to a more carefully considered choice of major or career, rather than one they choose because it’s “easy” or they already have some credits in that area.

The end goal of all of this is stepping out of your child’s way. Rather than micromanaging, give them space, time and be a resource for them. You’ve provided them with the tools so let them use them. The result will hopefully be that your child follows their interests and passions to a fulfilling career and success.

What was your favorite part about this article that resonated the most with you? Share your thoughts with us below!

Andriana is a Chicago native with strong Mediterranean roots. After exploring over six fields of study as a Northwestern Wildcat, she completed her BA in Psychology and Business Administration. She is a content manager at one of the leading Admissions Consulting companies.

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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