As human beings, we were designed to be constantly experiencing the joy of learning. We need challenge and growth in every area of life to be truly alive. There is no neutrality in life. We are either going forward or going backward. When we stop learning, we start to die.
Children begin life with the joy of learning. Everything is fun. Everything is new. Discoveries are everywhere and everyday. In fact, never is the learning curve so steep as it is in the first five years of life. Think about it. A 0 to 5 year old is learning to eat, balance and walk, relate to others, talk, and a million other things. And the joy of learning just bubbles out all over.
Most children, as they enter school, take that excitement with them. It is thrilling to think of the new experiences and new knowledge that await them. Most want to carry over the joy of learning and do their best in school. Some successfully bring that enthusiasm through their school years and even through life. They tend to become people that we like to be around.
Unfortunately, through negative experiences, many lose that excitement. Maybe they struggle in an area and no one has the time to help them, maybe they are teased by their peers, or they don't have the support they need from their teachers or parents. Whatever the reason, discouragement sets it. "I hate school" becomes the attitude. This is truly sad because they give up on trying... and no one ever fails until they stop trying.
Once the thrill of learning is lost or dampened, it can take a lot of time and patience to get it back. As parents, we need to be sensitive if our children are becoming discouraged with learning as it will affect their enjoyment for the rest of their life. Discouragement comes to all of us, and children are no different. We need to consider if their discouragement is just a normal part of growing and learning, and all they need is encouragement not to give up. Or are there deeper issues? Are they struggling with reading - which will affect every academic subject? Do they feel like a failure because of not understanding a specific topic? Are they being bullied? Is the school itself a positive place? All kinds of factors have to be considered before a correct solution can be developed.
As adults, have we retained the joy of learning? [Our children will catch our attitudes, too.] Are we expanding our knowledge? Are we growing? Are we excited about life? Or have we become so caught up with daily details that we are just trying to maintain our life? If we are maintaining, we are going backward! You were designed for continual growth, don't miss it.