We all need to do what we can to preserve the curiosity and love for learning so it continues for life!
Here’s some food for thought and ways to support your child as they shift into “back-to-school” mode:
- My child’s strengths. Start the day pointing out their strengths. Can you think of 3 positive strengths your child has? Here’s one you may not have thought about: at times you notice that your child is focusing intently on doing something, goes into “another zone”. Point that out for them. Say, “I like the way you work at that and not let anything distract you!”
- “This is too hard!” You can help them realize that doing “hard stuff” is like an obstacle course – or like trying to beat a video game. There are things that may slow us down or get in our way and we need to figure out how to get around those obstacles.. It may be difficult, but it’s not impossible.Ask, “What is something else you did that was hard and finished it? What worked?” They may not remember or respond, but you’ve planted the seed.
- “There’s too much to do!” Say, “Let’s break this down!” Help kids work at a challenge by looking for a small, doable piece they can succeed at. Success breeds success. Ask, “What is the first step or first level you think you can do?” It’s best if they decide, so be patient and try to let it come from them.
- “I’m not good at this.” We need help kids understand what happens on the road to success. For example, before they begin ask, “Are you ready for mistakes? They happen and we learn from them.” Tell kids a recent mistake or setback you experienced, how it felt and then what you learned from it in order to keep going. Never waste a mistake – help kids realize what they have learned from a mistake.
- “I don’t remember what to do.” Don’t jump in too quickly – increase their “think time”. Delay giving them hints or information until you are certain that they have exhausted their resources. The message you want to deliver is, “I know you are capable“.
- Praise the HOW, not just the result. We’ve all heard, “Win or lose, it’s how you play the game that matters”. But most kids don’t hear enough about the HOWs, so why should they matter? Emphasize the “HOWs”. For example, “I can see that you keep trying. That’s awesome!” You are teaching them a huge HOW – STICKING TO IT When kids realize that the HOWs matter, they are better prepared to take on difficult tasks, rather than avoid them.
Strengthen your child’s feeling of “I can!”
Which reminder will be on your fridge?
~ Angelo Truglio