Friday, November 5, 2010

Giving You Feedback, Naturally

If you aren't sure what your child struggles with, watch them when they read -- without them knowing. I learn VOLUMES from body language, facial expressions, and the amount of focus they are giving. Watch for patterns in what they are "willing" to read, and where they are resistant.

I had an experience with my son, Sam, yesterday at the Book Fair (thus the entry entitled "patience"). He repeatedly tried to get me to buy books that were either too easy for him or were sticker books/Star Wars manuals.  Not that anything was wrong with the actual books, but - they weren't the right thing for him. We have more than enough Star Wars, and he needs a challenge to keep him growing as a reader.

He's my one who will always choose the easier route: "That's too long." (and yes, he does exhibit some ADD symptoms and receptive expressive language difficulties) Or, "I don't feel like that one right now."

I knew I shouldn't give in. We'd have to move past this, get over this hurdle, in order for him to get to the next level. 

Therefore, we clashed. I never raised my voice, I just kept talking him through it in a quiet, calm manner. He, however, disintegrated into a crying, whining, can't-handle-life state. 

But I stood my ground, and, a half an hour later, we came to a point where he could chose wisely, he could handle me saying no. 

Some parents would have just put everything back and said "I'm done with your attitude." And I do that, but this time, I knew that we needed to get through this and he would be better for it. Liken it to Annie Sullivan with Helen Keller - I am sure she dealt with her hand worth of tantrums and struggles before they broke through with "Water" as her first word.

So sometimes, it's watching, sensing, knowing what they need and following through (also known as just getting through).

1 comment:

  1. Great post Jewellyn! We have had so many of these type of episodes and slowly have learned to just be patient and see what happens after they realize we're ticking with 'no'. We're always looking to know how other parents handle this so thank you!