Name, age and gender are three important pillars on which your child’s safety and social standing depend. For your child to perceive himself and be perceived as a member of society, it is important that he understand these three concepts. So, how can you help him understand these things?
Most kids learn how to say their name, age and gender as they start school and interact with other kids. However, here are a few ways in which you can speed up their learning and make sure their fundamentals are clear:
1. Explain to Him The Meaning of These Terms
Even though this may seem elementary to you, the concept of name, age and gender is still abstract for your child. Explain to him that his name is what people use to call him, just as Mummy’s name is Mala, for instance. Likewise, explain to him that his age is how long it has been since he first came into the world. Finally, make the concept of gender clear by pointing towards boys and girls and indicating similarities and differences. This will let him understand what his gender is.
2. Call Him Using His Name and Encourage Him To Use It Too
For your child to clearly associate himself with his name, it is essential that you start making these references. Use his name in day to day conversation and also ask your family members to do this. For example, say “Rahul, can you get me a spoon from the kitchen?” Similarly, use his name when talking about him to other people (in his presence). So you can say “Rahul loves reading his red book.” This will help reinforce the connection between your child and his name.
3. Place His Name, Age and Gender Details Around The House
The house is a terrific learning environment for your kids as this is where they spend most of their time. Make sure there are many chances for them to see their name, age and gender around the house. You can put a placard with his name outside his room and label it “Rahul’s Room”. Similarly, you can put up his picture and brightly caption it with “Rahul is a 5 year old boy”. These visual reminders will help him remember the details better and also understand what they mean.
4. Make This Learning a Part of The Daily Routine
Nothing works like practice when it comes to learning! Understanding name, age and gender needs to be something they spend time on every day. For example, if there is a playdate or party at home, ask every child to say their name, age and gender before participating in every activity. Organise games that require them to address each other using their name. Say, if they are playing “Pass the Ball” and the ball stops at a child named Priya, the other kids have to say out loud – “Priya!” Likewise, make your instructions age and gender specific to help embed this concept in their mind. Say, “All five year olds, please come to the dining table.” Or, “All girls will now stand up.”
5. Play The “Knock, Knock” Game
This age-old game that involves asking “Knock, knock!” and “Who’s there?” can be a brilliant way to help your kids understand these concepts. You can play this with your child any time of the day. Use interesting question variation such as “Knock, knock!” “Is it a boy or a girl?” and “How old is the person behind the door?”
6. Use Pictures, Books And Music To Help You
Visual and sound guides are always a great help when it comes to kids. Use books that have pictures of kids and point toward them saying “That is a boy” or “She is a girl”. Similarly, when your child recites a poem about body parts, get him to point toward himself and say his name.
7. Prompt Him With The Answers To Encourage Him
As your child learns, he is sure to make mistakes and forget certain things even after you have gone through them repeatedly. Boost his confidence by prompting him when he seems to be getting confused. For example, if he is asked his name and it starts with “K”, you can make that sound. It will help him make the connection and pronounce his full name.