The Dragonfly Forest

They have been given names such as devil’s darning needle, ear sewer, horse stinger, skeeter hawk, and the snake’s servant. Actually, Dragonflies are beneficial, peaceful, and stunning. You are a Dragonfly if you are: ADD/ADHD, dyslexic, dysgraphic, Asperger’s, NLVD, autistic…

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Important lesson to teach your child

One thing I know for sure~~  Life is NOT smooth sailing. We are doing our children a disservice if we teach them that everything will be easy.  We must teach them that life if full of rough spots and lessons we must learn.  

As parents we hate watching our children struggle and sometimes we want to rescue them from the pain and suffering.  We want to help make things easier but we must refrain.  We can guide them but they must learn how to handle problems on their own.  We can model for them how to deal with adversity and how to advocate for themselves but we cannot allow our children to believe that it will be easy or quick.  

When we have expectations and these expectations are not met then we feel disappointed and frustrated.  These negative feelings can lead to more negative feelings such as depression and anxiety. 

Parents often ask if they should exempt their child from the school's standardized assessments.  My question is "WHY?"  Why exempt the child from these tests?  Often I'm told it is because the child become anxious and stressed.  Hmm isn't a way to overcome anxiety and stress is to tackle the triggers and learn how to deal with them?  If the child is exempt from these assessments they will never learn how to take tests under negative emotional conditions. Also, these tests are more about grading the school district than the individual student (even if they threaten you that your child will not move on if they do not pass - they are using this psychological tactic to deflect attention that THEY are failing to teach your child).  If your child will perform poorly on a district standardized assessment than you WANT their score to reflect the terrible job the district is doing educating students.  Exempting the child from these tests only hides the reality that the district is failing our students.  So let your child take these district standardized assessments as practice for test taking.  

When your child is struggling with learning remind them that everyone struggles with something and the goal is to learn how to overcome an obstacle. Teach them that the key to success is knowing how to solve problems.  When your child is struggling with a school assignment ask them how they can solve the problem. Help them see ways to work smarter and not harder.  Listen to books on audio, type assignments/speech-to-text, use calculators, Google the question, review Cliff-notes, ask to see a finished product of what the project is supposed to look like, and ask questions.  These things are NOT cheating they are ways to solve problems!   

When students learn ways to solve problems they are less likely to experience learned helplessness (Click on the link - this is a must understand concept!!!).  

Remember that it is important to allow your child to struggle and help them learn that this is normal and we are learning ways to overcome obstacles so we can be successful!  We need to help our children understand the meaning of success - it does not mean money, wealth, status, material items....  Success is being able to overcome obstacles, solve problems, and learn lessons (so we don't keep repeating them).  Also read: 

6 Ways to build Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance in your child at home