Keep Learning in Perspective
Last week I went to an parent education session at my children's school. The topic was language and the teacher holding the meeting went into great detail about how they teach language and the progression of the lessons that they use to teach the children.
As I sat there I became very aware of how complex learning new skills can be. Every single day of my life I take for granted the fact that I can read. I read news, I read ingredient labels, I read emails, the list goes on and on. In only a few seconds I can write out a list of to dos. There is very little thought that I have to put into this skill.
Listening to the teacher discuss language development and how they teach reading and writing skills, I was amazed that anyone learns to read. I was even more amazed at the amount of practice and breaking down of skills is required to learn how to do something that I take for granted every day.
As I pondered language development I began thinking about all of the other things that adults know and have learned that children have not earned. What other things do we need to break down into small manageable steps. How many other things do we need to allow our children to practice over and over again until it begins to make sense.
The answer.....A lot of things.
I realized at how impatient we can be with our children (me included). Having told them something a few times we expect them to get it and implement it correctly every time. I, like you, feel that at times I am a broken record that repeats myself or finds that we are working through the same challenge over and over. There is a reason for this. A new skill is not learned instantly. It needs to be practiced, mistakes need to be made, and children need to be supported.
Next time you feel frustrated with your child's behavior and you feel like they should "know better", think about how they learn to read. It takes time, it takes baby steps, it takes practice. This is the same process that children take to learn how to resolve conflicts with siblings, how to behave in different situations, or manage overwhelming feelings. So, take a deep breathe, and help them through the steps.
Claudia Glassman is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Play Therapist, and Parenting Coach who offers one on one coaching services. Claudia is passionate about helping parents find joy and gain confidence in their parenting abilities. Her vision is to share her knowledge and bring awareness to the importance of the relationship that we have with our children.