Welcome to the Kids Focus Flash Forum! Each month I’ll offer practical tips and insights for parents and teachers that can help kids improve learning and behavior. My approach will always be natural, healthy, and brain building. These tips have been tested in NM classrooms and homes, so I know firsthand how well they can work. Kids Focus Flash Forum is my blog – so if you have comments or requests for future topics, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will share your comments in the next forum.
TOPIC #1 – How to BUILD KIDS’ CONFIDENCE
A lot of kids struggle with lack of belief in themselves and their self-worth. It’s hard to convince a kid to finish her/his homework or do well on a test when they don’t think they’re going to succeed anyway. Many of them have been labeled (e.g., ADHD, dyslexic, autistic, etc.) and that label hangs around their necks like a lifetime sentence. How can we help?
ANSWER: CHANGE “OUR” (Parents/Teachers) FOCUS!
The first thing I do is ignore all the labels. My job is to find the best in each kid. I look for what I can fall in love with inside every kid I meet. I also want to know what their challenging behavior is really asking for. In this case, what makes a kid feel confident?
Kids will try to become what we see in them. Always look for the BEST in every kid and FOCUS on her/his STRENGTH. Studies show that when we focus on kids’ negative problems or failures, only 20% improvement is possible. On the other hand, focusing on a strength can create 400% improvement.
Here’s a real-life example: A middle school student struggling with spelling. He’s bright, but spelling is tough for him and no one believes he can get it right. We talked about the weirdness of English spelling – so many words aren’t spelled the way they sound. Now he knows at least some of the challenge is not his fault! Next, I discovered that his brain is literally wired to move in order to learn ANYTHING! (More about movement in the next forum!)
Solution: He does a set of cross-lateral Kids Focus movements before he studies and walks around as he memorizes words. He’s improved his spelling AND is building a great vocabulary! Most of all, he feels like he’s in control. Now that’s confidence!
Self-mastery = Self- confidence
Reader’s Response: “. . . sometimes the labels are actually accurate and they represent important information potentially about how a person might be wired, or why certain behaviors might surface, etc. That information is important to know and to be open to considering how to fold it into the strategizing that goes into supporting the person.”
Marcia’s Comment: “I agree that labels can provide important information about behaviors. My frustration is that most people slap on a label and NEVER look deeper. Most people CONFUSE the challenge or the label with the child. I can’t tell you how many people tell me their child IS “ADHD, OCD, ODD, etc.” This is a terrible confusion. A child is a child; he or she is NOT his/her challenging behavior. A child has a personality and uniqueness, AND he/she has challenges (as do we all).
Behavior is a snapshot of what the brain is telling us about its current needs, which play out in learning and behavior. The needs are often complex, whereas labels tend to be simplistic. A label should be the beginning of an exploration into deeper causes, not the end.”Kids Focus Website
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