Our beliefs either help us succeed, or limit our success when helping our children do their homework.
We have more control over our lives than we think.
Did you know that what we think and believe has a strong influence on what we feel and on what we do?
Even more extreme, did you know that your mind has a powerful effect on your body?
Research has shown that our mind doesn’t notice much difference between an action we visualise, and one we perform (Dispenza, 2007; Rose & Nicholl, 2011).
Our beliefs are what help us, or stop us from helping our child develop their reading, writing, and maths skills. “The more we think the same thoughts, which then produce the same chemicals, which cause the body to have the same feelings, the more we physically become modified by our thoughts. ….what we think about and the energy or intensity of those thoughts, directly influences our health, the choices we make, and ultimately, our quality of life” (P. 44, Dispenza, 2007).
The Evers-Swindell Sisters at the Olympics!
We all have helpful or unhelpful beliefs that enable us to do well or not do well when we are learning how to do new things. Many top athletes visualise each step towards success before they compete in an event, and research has shown this substantially improves their performance. You can do the same so you can more easily work with your child to develop their reading, writing, or math skills.
Here are four common beliefs I meet when I work with families:
I can’t help my child because I didn’t do well in reading, writing, or maths at school myself.
It’s not fair – school should have helped my child more. Education is not my job.
My child is just a naturally slow learner in maths/reading/writing/learning new skills.
I’m too busy/too tired to coach my child.
If you have any negative thoughts about creating the time, space, and energy to help your child do well at school, check out these tips. They could help you change the way you think, so that helping your child with their reading, writing, or maths becomes joyful and easy. I have used all these strategies on myself Over the last 15 years, both to change myself, and to help families and students change themselves. See if there is one idea that stands out for you, create some words that inspire and anchor you, and do that one thing regularly will change how you work with your child.
- Create your own personal affirmation that supports what you believe and then say it aloud quietly to yourself every day, especially when you have difficulties working with your child. E.g. I believe that I’m here to help my child succeed in the world. Or, I will continue to guide my child even when it is hard. Or, my job as a parent is…
- Create a powerful lie about what you can do and repeat them very day, especially during difficult times. Say you have strengths that you don’t yet have. Make it a statement that is not about the future such as ‘I will…’, rather create a statement as though it is already happening. Use the present tense. Begin with ‘I am…’ or ‘we are….’ or ‘coaching my child is…..’
- Believe without doubt that regular coaching will become easier, and then, step by step, adjust your environment and your thoughts so that it is. Sit down and create a clear picture of easily coaching your child, then plan to succeed. Think about your circle of influence, and expand it bit-by-bit.
- Make yourself happy when coaching your child. Find a way to enjoy every step you are taking when coaching. Instead of thinking, “How do I get myself to do this?” ask yourself, “How can I get myself to enjoy doing this?”
- Find goals that make you feel joy and excitement. Be specific and say exactly what you want and why you want it when deciding your goals. Use the present tense. Begin with saying, “I want my child to….because….” Keep asking yourself why you want that goal for your child by repeating, “I want my child to….because….’ until you find out the most important reason of all why you want that goal. You will know when you have found the core reason you want your child to do well with a skill or subject when you feel strongly about it.
Persistently thinking positively works over time. Practise acting and thinking positively, and the positive emotions will follow (Dispenza, 2007). Don’t worry about what you feel at this moment, concentrate on what you are thinking and doing instead. Keep practising positive thoughts and actions, alone and with your child, until they become second nature. “Change yourself on the inside and the outside will soon catch up”, (Keith Ellis, p.64).
I’m working in partnership with you the reader and I like to know what you are thinking! Please feel free to write your thoughts, questions, and comments at the bottom of this page.
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