The parent and child arrive for the assessment. I sit and talk with the parents while the assessment is taken. It is so common to hear, "My child has developed a horrible attitude" or "My child lies to me all the time about school" or "my child's teacher says he daydreams all the time." From my experience I know these are common coping mechanisms. I remember in fourth grade I was a daydreaming fool. I was overwhelmed by a new school and math was torture. I would leave to a happy place in Lubbock, Texas. (Yes Lubbock, stop snickering)
When any of us feel backed in a corner the majority of our blood bypasses the cognitive part of the brain to support the survival or fight or flight part. We are now ready for the battle, aka fractions.
I found in repeating this process again, and again. and again that there is one lowest common denominator. FEAR. The parent, child and teacher all three tied by fear to a child's performance. This is so very backwards to me but I will not get on that soapbox. I simply want to point out that FEAR cripples us to the point that blood moves from the logic driven part of our brain to the survival part. Fear is usually accompanied by a lie that keeps us from believing we can accomplish our destiny. I believe one person believing in a child can release them from fear and catapult them into their annointed destination.
"They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
A day passes and I have the assessment results to share. I explain strengths and weaknesses, make an individualized remediation plan, and contact the child's teacher to share the results. I coach the parents to look into their child's eyes and say four words: I believe in you! If their child's gaze is constant they received this blessing, if they look away they do not. Say it again until their gaze is unflappable.
Practical tip for Parents
1.Operate from a place of truth, assumptions and opinions leave you and your child vulnerable. Knowing how your child thinks(processes) and what they know is very beneficial. This is true spiritually as well.
2.Tell your child you believe in them. This works on spouses too!
3. Compliment your child on their work ethic not their smarts. They can always work harder but children tend to give up when they think they are not smart enough.
4.Teach your child to set goals with incremental doable parts.
5.Pick a scripture or two and have your child translate them into their own words. Use their words as an affirmation to say to themselves each morning and in stressful situations at school. We did this when KB was diagnosed as dyslexic. Here is her affirmation:
I am very special because I am God's child. I will always do my best and be a leader. I can do all things because Jesus gives me strength. I love God and God loves me.I may have used this myself on especially stressful days.
6.Remember school is the only time mastery over all subjects is required. After graduation we pick our strengths to work and play in.