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How to Teach Your Children Mind-Mapping

How to Teach Your Children Mind-Mapping

Do you have children? Would you like to give them more fun in studying? Do you want to help them in ace-ing their tests at school? If so, you should definitely continue reading, as there are amazing things your child can learn from you! After reading this article, you will be a personal mind-mapping coach for your child.

Most people know about mind-mapping already. Do you use it yourself as well? I am sure most people use or have used the technique in one form or the other. The reason it works so well is because it makes use of both sides of your brain, taking the slightly more analytical left side and using words and relationships. It also benefits from the slightly more creative or colourful right side, using images and colours.

For adults this does wonders: We normally tend to use more of the ‘left’ side of our brains, using more words than images, more relationships than colours. Children, on the other hand, tend to work the other way around. For young children who have not been exposed to the adult way of thinking, drawing pictures still comes as natural. This is very important when you want to teach them mind-mapping.

I have to correct myself immediately when I write “teach them”, as we should not teach them mind-mapping: the moment we do that, we will only try to impose our rules and limitations onto their way of thinking. I believe we should help them explore this whole brain thinking on their own. The moment children learn mind-mapping or visual mapping techniques, they will have an advantage over the people who aren’t using these tools. They will be able to summarize books more quickly, create better notes, outline ideas and stories much more easily, etc. In short, their time in school becomes a lot more fun! They will enjoy studying and get better grades.

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This Is Your Coaching Outline

You are a coach, not a teacher. You are there to assist your child in finding out about different ways to outline ideas, thoughts and books, so don’t judge. Don’t impose ideas. Let them see where this journey will take them.

Great, now we have that out of our way, we can begin.

First, you make sure your child gets a big sheet of paper and a couple of different pens. You only tell your child that the next exercise is something they should be drawing; they can be as creative as possible.

Take a piece from one of their school books, or tell a story, making sure you use enough image words (words that are easily transformed into pictures). Image words could be those such as “tree”, “house”, “car”, or “power plant” no, I am just kidding… although, your child could probably create a really cool picture of that!).

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While you tell the story or read from the book, let your child draw.

After you are done, and your child is done drawing, you ask them to tell the story again using their drawing. Can they do that? Is their story about the same as the one you told? If so, you and your child did a wonderful job. If not, what caused the difference? Were the images not powerful enough? Or perhaps did you not use enough image words? Investigate together.

When your child knows how to do this, you can even go one step further. Take a new sheet of paper, and divide it in a couple of areas (the same number as you have topics in your story). The process starts all over again. You talk, your child draws. Just make sure that each topic is drawn in a single section. You then ask your child to recall the story using the drawing, and give them a pen to draw a line from one part of the story to the other. This is your branch!

If there are parts in your story that you could add more sub branches to, ask your child to add more (small) images with even more pictures. In the end, your child creates something that is almost a real mind map (perhaps even better than any mind map you ever created before!). For the real overachieving parent, you can do one more thing: after you created the map, give your child a new piece of paper and let them re-create the entire map from memory. You can of course give hints about what to add when they are lostyou might be amazed how wonderful their memory is!

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The final step is that you step away from your child, and you let them go through a book and create the images and story themselves.

This is the moment your child knows how to outline their ideas, thoughts, books, and much more in a visual map, without your assistance! The maps may not be what traditional mind mappers feel is right, but the map helps them achieve their goal and enjoy studying again.

Don’t worry if your child doesn’t create a perfect map—it isn’t about perfect maps, remember? This is all about your child handling information in a smarter, more efficient manner, and with more fun. The entire process of your child being able to do that depends on their age, interest in the topics, and perhaps even if it is wonderful weather outside. What I can say is that you usually can expect results quickly. Children love to draw, and this is completely in line with their way of thinking.

From now on, make sure you help your child when they are stuck or need motivation.

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Action Points

Action point 1: Be a supportive coach, not a parent who says what is right and wrong.

Action point 2: Use the step-by-step outline above to teach your child mind mapping.

Action point 3: Just sit back and smile when your child shows you their work (not much action, but a great feeling!)

Enjoy!

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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