Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000

Changing your Child's Habits Through Unexpected Activities

by Sabrina Koetsier

Liam taking this game of chess very seriously

Were you surprised when your 7 year old told you they know how to play chess?

 

Did you know your 10 year old plays chess against his school mates?

 

Don’t worry, we hear it all the time. Over the many years that we have been coaching chess, we speak to surprised parents all the time.

 

Learning a game most people see as boring

It may be a little unexpected to hear that your child has learned a game that is seen by most adults as boring, static, long winded and mainly played by elderly man. But nothing is further from the truth. In fact, our experience has shown that the average primary aged child sees the game of chess as something completely different. It is the classic game of two armies battling it out, where you have to capture the opponent’s king to be crowned the ultimate ruler. You can often see children speak words of encouragement to their soldiers (pawns) before they take the next step into battle.

 

Our opinions differ to our children's

We need to realise that our opinions about certain games or activities are not the same as those of children. Only then will we be able to provide an alternative to their habits.

 

Children spend a considerable amount1 of time on electronic devices, whether  it is during regular school time or at home.  We can no longer avoid the fact that Wi-fi and battery life has become more important than crayons and paper.  We all read the sometimes disturbing articles that all this time spend with electronics is going to harm us in the long run, is this true? We don't really know. It still needs to be scientifically decided2, but it won’t hurt to start thinking about moderation rather than over indulgence.

Changing Habits

 

Of course we need to acknowledge the educational programs and benefits that these devices can bring.

 

So how do we change habits and move to a more sustainable use of the tablet and still provide educational content for our children? The key to changing habits is replacing your current behaviour with new habits. The key to finding new habits is by understanding your child and what they like doing.

 

Chess in the Curriculum

 

Let’s return back to the example of chess.

 

Chess has been shown to provide educational benefits3 to children for many years. It is why some countries  are offering chess as part of their curriculum to all students.

 

Internationally over six million people play chess every day and in Australia alone there are thousands of children that participate in Inter-school Chess Championships. Chess has been around for a very long time and continues to intrigue young minds.

 

 

The good thing about chess is that it is very easy to learn, but it is very difficult to master.

 

Chess can be played at any age, at any level and against anyone you choose. If your child has learned how to play chess, then this would make an ideal activity to encourage. Have a look in your games cupboard, as there will undoubtedly be a chess board hiding somewhere. If you don’t know how to play, then this is a great time to learn.

 

Do remember to keep things interesting and what you may find interesting does not necessarily mean it is interesting for your child.

 

A Quick or Leisurely Game

Work out if a short game over breakfast or a long Sunday afternoon game is what they would prefer.

 

Developing Relationships

Or how about developing a bond with that long lost relative on the other side of the world? Set up a board on either end and then every email or Skype session should include another chess move.

 

We understand if chess is not going to be your choice of activity to change habits, but don't be surprised if you discover your child has learned a new skill that you may have never  even have thought about.

 

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About the Author

Sabrina was taught how to play chess by her father as a child.

She is now an assistant chess coach at Chess Life in Adelaide, South Australia, who helps beginners with the basics of the game and encourages parents to teach the skills to their children. Her main role lies in liaising with schools, parents and students regarding upcoming events and classes. She also maintains the website, social media and newsletter, ensuring everyone is updated on the achievements and upcoming events. Sabrina is the current Vice president for the South Australian Junior Chess League and editor for the Australian Junior Chess League. You can contact Sabrina via the website chesslife.com.au

 

 

 

 

References

1 -  Australian children increasingly glued to screens, study finds (ABC)

2 - Kids And Screen Time: A Peek At Upcoming Guidance (NPR)

3 - The Brainy Benefits of Chess (Parents)

PA working out his next move

Marks and Spencer

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Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000
Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Sabrina was taught how to play chess by her father as a child.

She is now an assistant chess coach at Chess Life in Adelaide, South Australia, who helps beginners with the basics of the game and encourages parents to teach the skills to their children. Her main role lies in liaising with schools, parents and students regarding upcoming events and classes. She also maintains the website, social media and newsletter, ensuring everyone is updated on the achievements and upcoming events. Sabrina is the current Vice president for the South Australian Junior Chess League and editor for the Australian Junior Chess League. You can contact Sabrina via the website chesslife.com.au

 

References

1 -  Australian children increasingly glued to screens, study finds (ABC)

2 - Kids And Screen Time: A Peek At Upcoming Guidance (NPR)

3 - The Brainy Benefits of Chess (Parents)

Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000