One of our grandsons just completed fourth grade with pride. Good teacher, interesting assignments, successful achievement levels. All went well until some boys decided to taunt him. Suddenly, all accomplishments faded and the voices that counted were those of his peers.
When I shared the story with our 22-year old grandson, I concluded by saying, “Kids can be so cruel.” To which he replied, “Adults can be cruel also.” That told me that like his younger cousin, he also experiences criticism and rude behavior from some of his peers.
As a grandparent, I yearn to protect them. A voice suggests, “Let’s keep them at home with a glass dome over them.” Obviously, a solution that over protects offers no solution at all. Without rough and tumble life encounters, no resilience develops. Pain usually contributes to learning and to growth and even getting picked on occasionally seems to be part of the life process. Continue reading
When I was a young mother in my thirties, I had a dear friend who offered to teach the game of tennis to me. I didn’t have a cute tennis outfit so I showed up in jeans and hiking boots, which I imagined looked similar to tennis shoes. After klutzy attempts and many missed balls, my friend pulled me off the courts and said, “Barbara, you don’t even dress right for this game.” Thus ended my budding tennis career.
Through the years, I wished that I could play tennis. My husband plays and it would be great if we could share this sport. Yet, my life has gone well even without tennis. I raised the children, got a job, and functioned in society. No real trauma evolved over my lack of tennis.
Most of us know at least one child who does not read well. We send five year olds to school with the anticipation that they will learn to read. Most show up with eager and excited little faces. Unfortunately, for some, it does not happen or it does not happen easily. It’s as though they don’t dress right for the game of reading. Continue reading
I wrote the post below for my granddaughter who is a young teenager.
Sweet granddaughter, I realize that you struggle with shyness and insecurity. I’m going to share an even more frightening truth, which I know is true about you. Think of this new thought as a small seed, which will grow over time. Continue reading
We all face occasions when we need to correct a child. How we make the correction has a powerful impact. Although this entry is written for classroom teachers, the message is applicable and useful for parents.
Dignify Wrong Answers
Embarrassing a student who offers a wrong answer constitutes one of the quickest ways to anchor fear of failure and feelings of stupidity. While your job includes giving corrective feedback, the way you respond to a wrong answer will make the difference in whether a student continues to try or refuses to participate. Continue reading
When my children were growing up, I believed in positive reinforcement. In fact, I used positives more than was actually good for them. Only when my daughter became too preoccupied with her looks, did I realize that I had promoted an empty value. Continue reading