Jump Over The Wall

Kids jumping over the wall

Acknowledging the need for a child’s learning concords our sight to see barriers that occur intentionally or unintentionally, to the child. Let’s wonder and observe the child. While our observation, we need to recognize when the child feels anxious, and what learning situation he disconnects from. Our main role is to understand his mood and how to deal with it. Each child is motivated differently; we need to know our child’s way. 

Which wall?

Learning is not an easy process. The child needs to exert effort to learn. As parents, we need to recognize the barriers the child encounters. These barriers are found for anyone who wants to learn. 


One of the barriers is stress. There are kinds of stress: positive stress, tolerable stress, and toxic stress.

  1.  Positive stress: is a normal one and it is important to develop, for example, the first swimming lesson the child experience. 
  2. Tolerable stress: the child encounters it in a hard situation and his body makes high alert like experiencing a car accident. If the caregiver gives a hand to the child by calming them down to adapt to the situation otherwise the damage affects them.
  3.  Toxic stress: occurs when it is a strong recurrent fearful experience, for example, physical, or emotional abuse. “Finally, we review the literature on stress hormone activity in children who have been maltreated early in life, and explore the critical question of whether enhancing care later in development can reverse the effects on behavior and neurobiology of early adverse experiences.” Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health, 2003
  4. Each child reacts differently according to the situation and his character. The caregivers need to have an idea about how their child acts. Is it physical or emotional or both? 

Physical reaction:

  1. Crying with no definite reason
  2. Recurrently works on an activity that makes him feel safe , for example,  water activities 
  3. Avoid eye contact
  4. Prefers to be ill or tired

Emotional reaction:

  1. Resistance to participating in group work
  2. Refuse to take any risks
  3. Unable to communicate
  4. Cannot respond to questions
  5. Attachment to certain things
  6. Clinging to the caregiver

What to do!

Of course, the caregiver does not leave the child in this status. He needs to identify the cause of stress without showing his fear to the child. In addition, the caregiver needs to encourage the child to decide within a safe limit. This will enable the child to be more confident in new or unsafe situations. Positive feedback to the child will assist  him as all of us make mistakes. No one is perfect. Avoid overprotection so the child learns the coping strategies.

 Family Pressure

Another barrier is family pressure. Expecting the child to act right like an adult learner, especially under 6 years old will frustrate you, as a parent. Mostly, we think that they learn the same way as us. Only structured learning activities are effective. Many systems based on this; the most effective one is the Montessori system. The reason is the Montessori system is based on science and cares for the child as a human being. Here is a link that you can scan for more understanding of the Montessori system.

We need to guide the child on how to express his feelings linguistically. The child is a learner by nature. He needs to learn the language to express his different moods. It becomes a barrier if the child cannot express his mood. We need to keep in mind that the child grows through many developmental stages physically. These affect the mood. He is requested to grow and to learn about different experiences. The easiest way to calm a child is by switching his focus to another issue, for example, if the child is crying over something. You can say “Let’s find out what happened outside” and take him for a walk.

Emotional Wheel

Core emotions are happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, surprise, and anger. Either you make your wheel or use this wheel of emotions on this link Discuss the wheel with your child and use pretend play to show the moods. 

Community pressure

In addition to the above barriers, the community can be a barrier for the child to learn. Coping with groups at school is not that easy for a child. The community itself is a different word from home. The parents need to guide the child on how to communicate and participate in a group activity. 

All barriers can be removed by the following steps

  1. Understand the character of the child 
  2. Accept him as he is 
  3. Develop the child from where he is.

The child needs you as you need your child. It is worth to invest in him.

Sahar Radwan – Montessori Directress

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