As fall approaches and the school bell once again gets ready to ring for our children, what do you think about as parents of children with learning disabilities? Most of us can put a decent list together of things that we must attend too, buff up and prepare ourselves for – especially parents who have kids with learning issues. But what comes up in your mind? New concerns, old concerns, a “Here We Go Again Feeling” perhaps?
What would it be to approach the new school year with out apprehension and concern for your children? Instead, hold high their list of strengths and believe in their capacity to handle the challenges that every new school year presents.
As parents, it is best for us to believe in our children. This is how they learn to believe in themselves. Without the critical parental factor of unspoken belief and trust to use their strengths, know their weaknesses and confidently scaffold them, our kids will be hampered.
So you see parents, you have some getting ready to do for school also. The upshot of you believing in your child is improved self-confidence.
What one thing could you do today that would let your child, for sure, without a doubt, know that you believe in him? Here are some easy examples. Pick one small thing off this list to implement on a daily basis:
- Praise a daily chore
- Encouragement instead of critique
- Time together doing something non-academic. At the end note a personal quality about your child that you love.
- Ask, “What was most important your day” instead of “How was your day?” Hint: When people search for an answer they pay more attention to the conversation!
What would it take for you to do one of these things everyday with your child? Why not start that practice today…and do it every day. It is simple way to have a profound impact.
Let the magic of a new school year start at home!
It is hot, humid and feeling very mid-summer like over most of the country. Kids are deep into the swing of lazy days, camps and hanging out. For kids with Learning Disabilities this is heaven! No heavy schedules and even less academic work. But how is your family getting along at this midpoint in the summer? Is it time to check in on the summer communication and how it is going?
Did you make plans in the beginning of the summer around expectations for helping around the house, keeping academic skills fresh and making good decisions every day? If you didn’t, now is a great time to notice what is working and what isn’t working and do a little retooling! Communication is the key to effectively checking in and making any changes necessary.
To start, call a family meeting and as the organizer, bring your Open Ended Questions. Open Ended Questions are questions that can’t be answered with a Yes or No and make the listener really think about an answer. Have several of these questions ready to gauge everyone’s satisfaction with this wonderful, carefree time of year. Here are some examples:
- What has gone really well this summer?
- What would you like to see more of?
- What would you like to change about this summer?
- What do you want to see happen before summer is over?
The next key to having this exercise reinvigorate your summer is taking the time to really listen to each family member as they share their answers. Stop what you are doing and look the person in the eye that is talking. Being truly listened to is a great gift. Give your family members the opportunity to give and receive this most important gift.
This simple meeting will deliver BIG if you give the time to ask Open Ended Questions and deeply listen to the answers. Incorporate these communication skills into your daily life and make the second half of the summer great. They will serve you and your family now and in the school year ahead!
Go Ahead, Really Communicate!
I’m watching a gentle rain this morning as it lightly touches down on a pond in my back yard. The rain looks as though it would be gentle as silk strands if it were to fall on my skin. The water surface is hardly moving. In stark contrast, the rain yesterday was pounding. It was the kind of rain that leaves little bubbles on the water as a result of their impact.
Events, people and circumstances all have a part in creating the “weather” you and your family experience. Learning Disabilities can be a major weather pattern in any family’s life, let alone the individual who actually experiences the learning issue. Moreover, learning disabilities can be a rain storm that has trouble moving on if you let it get entrenched.
When our youngest son was diagnosed with LD, there was a hurricane blowing through our home. It felt like a CAT 4 storm! Siblings were furious at the extra time the child with the learning issue was absorbing, my husband was having trouble grappling with the reality and acted like an ostrich by burying himself in his work, I felt guilty and was trying to keep our family ship sailing forward at the same time…and notice, we haven’t even mentioned the child with LD who had “quit school”! This was a hurricane for sure.
So here is the deal…There are ways to stay out of a hurricane when dealing with learning issues:
- Get smart – learn all you can about what you’re dealing with.
- Talk with all your family members – don’t sweep anything under the rug. Share knowledge and feelings. This will avoid the building of those hurricane force winds.
- Learn to be an Advocate.
- Reach out for help in areas that you’re struggling. Ignoring challenges doesn’t make them easier.
Wouldn’t it be great to feel the soft silken rain instead of the downpour or worse, the hurricane? It really is up to you what weather the learning disability creates in your family. Reach out today to The Navigators Way to see what options are available to calm the storms your experiencing.
This is important – Lets talk. www.TheNavigatorsWay.com