Helping your Child Take Chances

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I love Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus books and videos. She is the cool science teacher who says to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy,  She is the kind of teacher that I wish each of us could have had some time in our school career.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could let things go and have that mantra for our children as well instead of trying to stick to a textbook? Well, I think we can if we take small steps, which I hope will lead to bigger steps, and then a lifestyle of grace and seeing possibilities.

Start with something in which your child is good to build confidence. Does she write fantastic stories or does he fly through his math computation? By showing them they are good at something they will have the confidence to try something that is not the easiest for them to do.

Start small. You can set a goal in what you want to accomplish, but make sure it is achievable and not overwhelming. If you want your son to write a book report, start with having them just give the book a thumbs up or a thumbs down. The next time they read a book they can still give it a thumbs up/ down, but add one sentence about why they rated it that way, and so on until they have written a paragraph and then another, and another…

Go s-l-o-w-l-y. By taking the time to build confidence, your daughter/ son is more likely to try something harder. Are you trying to teach the multiplication tables and it just isn’t working? Go back to addition and show him how 2 + 2 + 2 = 6 and that 3 sets of 2 are the same, only faster! I found food always helped. 🙂

Enjoy the process. Too many times all I can see is what I have not accomplished and just want to give up. If I can set a small goal and meet that, then take a break and relax  (and eat chocolate) for a few minutes, then I can come back to what I am working on. I like to review what I have done and set another achievable goal until I finish what I have begun. This doesn’t all have to be done at once, it can take several days or months, depending upon the task or subject area. Allow plenty of time so that you have a confident, risk-taking learner.

Give lots of praise! I know when I hear a parent say their child is doing well because of what I have taught them I feel like I can leap over a tall building in a single bound! Show your daughter/ son what they have accomplished and let them see how proud you are of them.

Be a role model. I am confident that you can teach your child to take chances and good risks. Let your daughter/ son see you are taking risks too. For instance, you might be shy and you show your child you are going to reach out and talk to someone at church. You might not feel confident in your writing abilities, but you read your story to your son during sharing time at the end of the lesson. You can ask for feedback and suggestions.

Have a great week! ~Lisa ~




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