Every mom and dad wants a successful future for their kids. But what qualities should one develop in children? Foresight – the quality you don’t hear much about, but what each child needs most! Firstly we should try to understand what foresight is and why it is so important.
We are going to tell you how to find the key to this skill, and how to teach children to have foresight.
A forward-looking person thinks about what he is doing now, and the consequences that this behaviour will have. He is able to analyse any situation and live through it in his head. This is a very special skill. People who have it can achieve anything in life.
For very young school children, the thought process is often disorganised. They think about whatever comes into their heads. Their thoughts jump around, like rabbits. If this disorganisation remains throughout their lives, it will create an abundance of problems during adulthood.
Is it possible to teach children to think ahead? Of course; it’s both possible and necessary. Everyone is able to choose what to think about, and it is important to teach children to approach that choice conscientiously, from an early age.
Above all, children need to be taught to think about what they are doing at the present moment. Tell children as often as possible: “Let’s think about the best way to do it.” Discuss everything with your children; toys, homework, washing the dishes, doing the laundry.
Ask your child: “I have to wash these clothes, what do I need to think about?” Give the child the opportunity to answer, then explain in your own words: “I mustn’t forget to wash the light clothes separately from the dark ones. Besides, the clothes made of wool should not be mixed with others textures.”
Play the following game as often as possible: WHAT YOU MUST THINK ABOUT?
When you wake up in the morning, what must you think about? When you want something to eat, what must you think about? When you’re going for a walk, what must you think about? For example, when I go for a walk I must think about:
The weather, and which clothes would be suitable; What toys I’m going to play with outside, so I can bring them with me; Thinking whom of my friends to invite. The most important part of this process is giving the child the opportunity to answer, and praising his or her response. This will encourage them to think about what they are doing. You can give the child a coloured token for each answer. Tell the child he or she must receive at least 3 tokens in order to become a forward-thinking person.
When the child learns to think this way, he or she will be able to play alone and concentrate for long periods of time. When the child gets older, he or she will be able to approach any task with due concentration, and tackle their homework alone.
But foresight does not only involve concentrating on the task in hand, it also requires the capacity to think about the future, TO IMAGINE WHAT WILL HAPPEN. The first time a young child is introduced to the concept of consequence is when they are told not to touch a hot flame. But children cannot possibly live through all the thousands of situations they might come across during their lives. So this is where one magical word comes in handy: “IMAGINE.”
When you read a child a story, end with a discussion, starting with the word “Imagine”. “Imagine a chicken gave you a golden egg. What would you do with it?”
When you’re playing or walking with the child, use the magical word “Imagine” as often as possible. “Imagine you saw a vicious dog. What would you do? Imagine you had to cross the road on your own without traffic lights. What would you do?”
And stories, as usual, will help to stimulate the child’s mind: “A bear cub was on his way to the shops. He had to cross the road. The crossing was a long way away, and the cub was in a hurry to buy an ice cream, so he decided to run across the road. The bear cub looked to the right; there was a car far away in the distance, so he started to run. Imagine what happened next…”
An example of a story to develop foresight in children aged 3-5 years.
What should the young hare have thought about? Mummy hare planted some cabbages in the garden. Her young son helped his mummy and watered the cabbages every day, while daddy hare built a fence around the vegetable patch. He stuck strong, smooth planks into the ground to stop trespassers crawling in and eating the cabbages.
Everyone was delighted when the cabbages grew, and mummy hare said to her son:
“You’ve worked very hard; now you can relax and play for a while.”
The young hare hopped off to the meadow behind the vegetable patch. There was a tree stump at the side of the meadow, and the little hare started to beat a jolly tune on it with his paws. Suddenly, a young goat appeared from the woods. He jumped up in delight and cried:
“Hey, you’re really good at that. Drum music is great for hopping around to. But it’s a bit quiet. You need drum sticks to make it louder.”
The young hare looked around. The woods were on one side of the meadow, and the vegetable patch was on the other. And the fence around the vegetable patch was made of wonderful straight planks… The young hare raced up to the fence and pulled out one of the sticks, but it was too fat, so he pulled out another’ but that one was too heavy. In the end, the hare chose two strong, light sticks.
He tried to drum with them – and it was marvellous! The sound of the drums was so appealing that the young goat started to dance. The little hare was ecstatic, and he hopped off to the woods to show his friends how he could drum. Everyone heaped praise on the drummer, and told him he had a fantastic talent.
The young hare didn’t get home until evening.
Mama! he shouted from the doorstep. “I can play the drums better than anyone; shall I show you?”
“No, I’m very upset. There is a disaster! Somebody destroyed our vegetable garden’s fence,’ replied father-hare in anger.
“Yes, hoards of thieves squeezed through the hole in the fence to steal our cabbages. We lost half our crop before dad fixed the hole in the fence,” mummy hare said with a sob.
The young hare turned bright red and hid his sticks behind his back.
“Mum always told me: Think first and act later,” the young hare remembered.
Questions and tasks:
What should the young hare have thought about? Any other idea where he could have obtained a pair of fine drumsticks? Imagine there is a little girl who is worried about her doll getting cold in the winter. She doesn’t have any warm clothing for the doll, so she cuts a piece out of mummy’s coat to warm up her doll. Do you think the girl behaved properly? How should she have behaved? Imagine you and mummy have planted some seeds in the flowerbed beside the house. They have blossomed and everyone is happy. Then imagine a young boy comes along and picks them as a present for his mummy. Is this the right way to behave? What should the boy have done?
When a child learns to think about what will happen before it happens, he or she will behave thoughtfully. This ability protects the children from disappointment in childhood and plays a huge role in their lives when they grow up.