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So many parents around the world are struggling with children who have trouble in school. Maybe they struggle with reading, writing, concentration, listening, clumsiness, or social awkwardness. All these issues can make it very hard for them to thrive in a school environment.
Today, I’m going to give you 5 tips that you can put to use right away to help children who are struggling with any of these issues. I’ve been studying this topic with neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, and other professionals for over 14 years. My daughter struggled with school, eventually becoming severely depressed because of it. Now, my passion is to help all families who are struggling in these ways.
The Importance of the Mum’s Army:
For years I’ve been working with struggling children and their families, and they aren’t getting help from the professionals that they trust. The establishment is letting families down, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. That’s why it’s so wonderful that passionate, warrior mums getting out there and taking it into their own hands. You can join the mum’s army and help your child!
As a warrior mum, you can make a difference to your child right now. Here are some tips for getting started.
1. First and foremost, work to understand and support your child.
Your child may struggle in several different areas including math, reading, writing, concentration, listening, sports and physical activity, or social skills. No matter what the issue is, your child is not choosing to be difficult. They are not stupid or lazy. They have plenty of intelligence, though it may be hard for others to see it.
Rather than an intelligence problem or a laziness problem, issues in school are usually caused by a neurological condition of incomplete development in the cerebellum. It’s not something fundamentally wrong with them. In the vast majority of cases, you can improve their skills, help their brain develop the proper connections, and greatly improve their situation. Remind yourself (and your child) that it’s not a permanent situation.
If you don’t support your child and understand them, it’s stressful for the child and it’s stressful for you. Children shouldn’t ever be told that they’re lazy, difficult, or bad. If we don’t understand them and we blame them for their struggles, we’re increasing their stress and adding to their pain about something that is not their fault.
2. Talk with your child about their struggles.
Make it clear that you want to understand your child’s struggles and that you’re here to help them no matter what. Make sure they know that they have great potential and that there isn’t something wrong with them. Don’t let the problems become the elephant in the room— you must explain to the child all that you know about why they are the way they are. You probably don’t understand everything, but you can explain whatever you know.
Kids learn the least when they are unhappy and when they feel unsupported. Tell them you love them and let them know they are not unintelligent. Be supportive of your child’s happiness, give them comfort, and work to let them know they have lots of potential to improve and attain success in the future.
3. Get others to understand.
So many children are hurt by teachers who don’t understand them. As you probably remember from your school years, there are some teachers who inspire while others switch children off. If you have a child who is struggling in school, be sure to very quickly sit down with their teachers and ensure they understand that your child is not making a choice to be bad or naughty. They are not choosing, they are actually doing their best. Their memory is filled to capacity from trying to process basic skills, so they are not able to keep up without an extreme mental struggle.
Family, friends, teachers, and everyone who spends time with your child should know about the struggles and know not to blame them. Also, don’t let others compare them to their siblings, cousins, or friends who are doing well in school. This can lead to lots of feelings of inadequacy for the struggling child.
4. Do some adapting.
Tell teachers they need to do some adapting in the school environment, like temporary extra support in reading, writing, or whatever they need. Every school should be prepared to do this. Be sure to explain to the teacher that you wholeheartedly believe your child has massive potential just waiting to be discovered. Education should get your children to where they need to be regardless of where they start, and it doesn’t always happen, but we need to work to make sure it happens in the future.
Start out polite and persuasive, and you can get more demanding if they don’t understand, but make it clear that your child needs a boost in confidence and happiness while they are struggling, and that they also need additional help in whatever subjects they are having trouble in.
Adapt your home life as well. Make a habit of speaking to other siblings individually about their successes instead of letting your struggling children hear. If one child is excellent at reading and another child is terrible at it, don’t let these contrasts get highlighted too much. Also, find out what your struggling child IS good at and amplify that. Maximize their happiness and confidence and enhance the skills they are already good at.
5. Find the root cause of the problem.
We live in an establishment that labels children and keeps those labels stuck to them. How dreadful, especially when the child’s problem is completely solvable. There’s a severe risk in giving a label for incomplete development which is not permanent, because a label can leave a permanent impact. All skills that are neurological root causes are improvable. Find the root cause instead of just judging by the symptoms.
When you start by finding the root cause, whether it’s neurological or not, you can really begin addressing the symptoms in a smart and systematic way. If the cause turns out to be neurological, which is very often is, you can begin stimulating and developing the skills right away, helping all of your child’s symptoms to go away over time.
For more free information on how to support your child’s cerebellum development, check out my new website on “How To Stop Struggling In School.”