I had a friend, who is currently going through some hard times, tell me about the way his child was making him angry because they weren't listening. He would tell his child to do something and the child would say "no" until my friend yelled or got very angry. I gave my friend the following advice that I had learned from working with my daughter: 

     First, avoid anger and yelling unless it's a must. Being angry with a child is only teaching them that this is an acceptable method of communication or dealing with problems. 

     Second, we humans are not like computer, just because we understand an input, doesn't mean we can execute on it. I fact, we all know that practice makes perfect, and just because you know how to do something or understand the principle does not mean you can execute on it. 

     Third, because we need practice, we should spend time with our children when they're in their comfort zone, not during an angry exchange explaining why they should follow our commands when we ask them "we need to leave now" or "please put on your shoes" or "please clean your room." If we wait until the moment we need them to do something, then we need to remember that their mind might not be ready to take on the action. They might not have mentally rehearsed it enough to be ready to act upon the request.   3/16/19

(I believe) to be successful as a parent, my children have to end up better than I am in almost every way. Not 'as good as I am', better. Therefore, I spend a great deal of time wondering how I can give as much of my knowledge and experience to my daughter as early as possible while allowing her to explore the world and learn even more through her own experience. Here are some of the concepts, resources, and ideas I've gathered:

The power of compounding.

My parents used to tell me "a day well spent is worth a year." It took me a while to truly understand what this meant. Perhaps only after I had a child of my own did I really understand how valuable a lesson that was. Let me explain:


I've learned that the first 5 years of life are fundamentally different than any other segments of life in a human's brain development. Therefore, it's during this time that we should spend showing our children how the world works. Allowing them to explore, while guiding them through the tour. If you spend a minutes a day showing your child experiments, you will teach their brain how to think in ways that align with how physics, chemistry, math, poetry, language, emotions, are run. Examples like how colored water changes when mixed, how objects react to gravity, how tastes differ from different fruits, how to draw, how to make noise from everyday objects. If you spend minutes a day explaining a new concept to your child, you'll find that you'll quickly begin to run out of the simple concepts, yet your child is still there, ready to learn. I've had to go to google and youtube regularly to find interesting experiments that are normally taught to high school students to show to a three or four year old. It just keeps getting harder to find good content to share with my child.

It's not easy because the compound effect will begin to take place. Your child will begin to learn how the world works, their questions will get harder, and they'll begin to want more complex experiments and examples. After a year or two of doing this, the compound effect will have magnified your outcome to far greater levels than you expected to reach. When you've built a massive foundation in your child's mind, that one incremental day in year two will be so densely filled with information, that it would take any other child a year to catch up. Thus, my parent's were right: "a day well spent is worth a year." The only problem is: you have to spend as many of your days in the "well spent" category to start gaining the exponential value of a day equaling a year.

I find it hard to make 'screen time' valuable for my young daughter.

Important Notes:

1. You should never leave your kids unattended in front of a screen. Especially one connected to the internet

2. Screentime for children should be zero or as close to it as possible. When my wife and I need to do something and 

3. This is not an endorsement of channels, makers, or authors as a whole, just the specific content I'm referencing.


Here are some items I found along the way:

Blippi Raspberry Factory Tour
My daughter found this informative and entertaining. 
10 Easy Science Experiments - That Will Amaze Kids
I love science experiments and it's good exposure to STEM

Time is finite. Actions are valuable. When you get the choice, work with smart people on hard problems.