It’s a Long Haul to the Winter Holidays….
Living Well with Learning Disabilities
This is the time in the school year when all children, especially those with learning disabilities, can feel a bit overwhelmed. It is still along way to winter break and there are a lot of tests, papers and expectations piling up. What is a parent to do when they see their child feeling poorly about themselves and their performance at school?
The good news is there is a lot you can do to bolster flagging self-esteem and inertia. The balance you will provide through these activities will restore the energy to do other tasks that are difficult. Here are some things to implement today:
- Create special time. Create a time every week that both of you can look forward to. If this can’t be done daily, weekly is fine. This is time to explore something your child is interested in. You get the benefit of watching your child delight in something fun. This will be good for you, too!
- Practice empathy. Empathic behavior means you can walk a mile in someone’s shoes and know what they are going through. When we say to our children, “ Why do you never listen to me!” or “Go back and do it again, you will get it”. We might not understand how hard it is to listen and comprehend with their particular learning issue present. Instead, with genuine curiosity say, “What made it hard to hear what I was saying?” or “What made that information hard to understand.?” You might learn some key information about how your child learns and listens.
- Help your child develop problem-solving skills. Not all children know how to problem solve. Did you know this is a teachable skill? Developing problem solving skills can create confidence and a sense of pro-activity that comes from knowing how to problem solve. (BONUS: See next months blog to learn how to teach this valuable skill.)
- Ask your child to help. There is no faster way to build self-esteem than with a job well done! Invite your child to help with activities around the house where they will have an immediate result – setting the table, helping to cook, doing a favor for a family member. Helping a younger sibling learn to tie their shoes is a great way to empower someone who is feeling a bit shaky with their own capabilities. When you help someone your own confidence gets a boost!
- Lean into your strengths! It is important to know your weaknesses so they don’t blindside you. It is even more important for your child to know their strengths and use them as a way to compensate for learning difficulties. Everyone has strengths and can be taught to use them. Many learning issues have a bright side. As an example, many dyslexics are quite creative. To lean into creativity, your child could take an art class or theater class and meet like-minded friends. There are many strengths inherent in learning issue profiles. What are you child’s strengths?
These are simple ideas to address low self esteem a child with learning issues might be experiencing. Get busy implementing these at your house today. Be sure and reach out if you questions. That is what The Navigators Way is all about!
This is important stuff…let’s talk!
HOT NEWS: The Navigator’s Way is a participant in a new compilation of blogs for the Learning Disability Community. Come see LDAction: Creating Possibilities