What does growth look like? When you are holding out for something phenomenal and amazing to happen, you often miss the small but meaningful changes that have occurred. So it is your perspective that determines what you will define as growth.
Maybe some examples from my own life will help illustrate what I am trying to say. When I wanted my 10 year old son to reduce his technology use, I could not expect him to go from his current high use to the recommended 2 hours per day. I was willing to accept a gradual and continued reduction to eventually be closer to what was healthier for his age. We are still getting there, but ‘I WILL TAKE IT!’.
When I wanted my daughter to focus more on her Maths, I had to let her choose the amount of time and how often and eventually get to 30 minutes of Maths revision daily. She is not there yet but I see her perseverance, and ‘I WILL TAKE IT!’.
The trick as the parent is to be supportive from the beginning when the child problem-solves a solution, even if it looks nothing like your perfect schedule you prepared or the desired behaviour, accept it as your child is the one who has to follow through with it. We as adults have our own ideas of their concentration and focus time but in reality it differs from child to child.
These are my 5 tips on GROWTH :
- PRAISE all efforts made, no matter how small.
- ACKNOWLEDGE all improvements, no matter how insignificant.
- RECOGNISE your child’s ability, limitations, strengths and weaknesses.
- ENCOURAGE your child to always do their best.
- SUPPORT and be your child’s cheerleader even when they fail.
To conclude, there is a window of opportunity where your child depends on your ability to be their beacon, the light in their dark, the bringer of hope when there is none. Always remember that you have to be all these things for yourself first.