Understanding Our Children

I dove right into this blog because there were a few things I just had to write in order to move forward. I want to give a sense of personal experience throughout this blog. That said, it occurred to me this week that I want to be sure parents and teachers of all kinds of children feel welcome here, no matter where you fall on the continuum of child raising or educating. Whether your child falls into the norm or out, some of the time or most of the time, whether your child is diabolical, quirky, thoughtful, spacy, scattered, brilliant, shy, grumbly, maddening, inventive or any where in between, I hope something here on this blog informs you, inspires you, or resonates within you.

One of my goals for this blog is to move us away from labels toward understanding that every child and person alive has his or her own personal profile of strengths and challenges. Every. Single. One. Sure, a few profiles qualify for special education which has it’s own benefits and pitfalls, but it is never a parents goal for their child to receive special education services. In my experience, my goal was for teachers to know and understand my child’s learning profile and teach him accordingly.

You need to know if you have a child who feels hard to parent or teach it may be because something we are asking them to do requires a skill that they don’t have. They might need you to teach them a skill that you never realized had to be taught to some children, a skill that other children just seem to absorb from the world around them.

I chose the phrase “feels hard to parent or teach” because sometimes that is the first or only clue that you need to help them learn a skill that most people take for granted. And I chose the phrase “feels hard to parent or teach” because our feelings as parents and educators guide us and are important to how we choose to work with children. I chose the phrase “feels hard to parent or teach” because it is hard to parent or teach them and we feel it. That feeling is valid. That feeling does not make you less capable. That feeling does not make you bad at your job and it does not make your child a bad child. That feeling is there to tell you, “Look for the facts. Look for more information.” That feeling is there to prompt you to ask yourself, “What is really going on here?”

I plan for the pages on this blog to supply you with tools and resources for your fact finding mission. Aside from annotated bibliographies of books and websites, later today I am posting a page titled “Lagging Skills”. This list is taken from Ross Greene’s book Lost at School, and is included here with a link to Dr. Ross Greene’s website (with his permission) and further information about his method (Collaborative Problem Solving) for fact finding. You should know the motto expressed in Dr. Greene’s book is “Kids do well if they can.” And I wholeheartedly believe that is true.

Happy hunting! A.
 PS. I also hope to start building the “Kids Fun” page soon, because it is important to  laugh, smile, giggle and have fun with our children. Doing so tells our kids “You are ok no matter what your strengths or challenges.”

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