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!
Keeping learning alive during the summer is a HOT topic with parents …Amp that up for parents of a child with learning disabilities! Parents are intent on keeping a young persons mind active during summer break. Taking life’s experiences, extracting the lessons and reusing them many places in your child’s life, is one way to nurture an active mind.
In the summer you can dip into so many experiences. Expose your children this summer to great activities and then have them relate these experiences to other parts of their life. When you take this extra step you create an awareness around how learning can touch all of their life. As a life skill, this goes WAY beyond the classroom while having great impact in the classroom.
Here is an example. This weekend I hiked and played in nature seeing a golden eagle for the first time. This eagle was amazing! With a five-foot wingspan and golden head he truly was magnificent. Seeing him was experience enough but to tap into what he brought me was the real learning. Here is what I learned. He took several passes by us out over a cliff. He was majestic, confident, patient and sure while being present, attentive and non-reactive. He was so steady. I want to bring more of those qualities into my life. A great conversation with my family ensued.
Now the experience from the weekend informs the Monday morning task – or the paper for the classroom. Asking what the lessons were…going for the deeper stuff is something kids are really good at. You will be surprised!
If kids can be present enough to break down the barriers between parts of their life, and have one inform the other, they will be able to carry their “life lesson” with them, like I carry the “calm confident, majestic, patient, and attentive” that the eagle taught me. Now THAT is the kind of summer lessons that I want to have and I want my child to have! This is especially important for kids with learning issues. Some parts of their life are hard and these lessons can be of great service getting through those times.
Be sure to ask about the deeper lesson from experiences you have. You will be glad you did as you will be rewarded with an active mind.
This is important stuff…let’s talk.
Fear. It is a palpable emotion. I was reminded today how powerful an emotion it really is. My father had been “invited” to the doctor’s office. No one likes that invitation, especially if you had lung cancer six months ago and a chest x-ray in the last two days…
My logical mind said, “They have been discussing his healing, it probably has to do with that…” my emotional brain was out of control…OMG what if “it” is back, it is to soon! Can he take it? I’m SCARED!!! And so it went…bigger, badder and scarier as the minutes ticked by…
Then I thought, this same feeling happened when our son was diagnosed with a learning issue. How was he going to finish high school, get to college, how would he (and us) cope, what could he do to feel good about himself, earn a living and be a part of society?
The world comes crashing down on you in times like this. The weight is unbearable. You start shaking (maybe literally), your thinking goes foggy and perhaps you say some things you wish you hadn’t. What is important to know is this is what fear feels like. You have to hang on until it passes. It will. It always does. It is the unreal part. All those catastrophic thoughts, they are the heart of the unreal.
Have YOU felt FEAR around you or your child’s learning issue? Is your emotional brain in charge? How can you cope in a way that you will feel better and make progress?
Share your story. It is the first step to feeling better and progress. I was reminded how awful fear can be this morning. Dad and I talked when he returned with a clean bill of health. I told him I was scared. He said he was too. We shared and it diminished the pain.
You can share here. I will listen. Your pain will abate when you share.
This is important. Lets Talk.