coaching, homework, reading and writing skills, Uncategorized

What if your child can’t read or write well….is that it?


How to Coach Your Children to be Excellent Students m
How to Coach Your Children to be Excellent Students

A few weeks ago I met a young man in his twenties who in the course of our conversation disclosed what exactly his mother had done to help him at home  when he was young and having great difficulty learning to read and write. What she did gave him the opportunity to fulfill more of his potential than is usual for poor readers and writers. It enabled him to complete tertiary study, and find interesting work that required good reading and writing skills as well as problem-solving skills, flexibility, lateral thinking, and communication skills. He mentioned that he still found reading aloud difficult when one of his bosses was listening, because it made him anxious, but otherwise not; and that he doesn’t have any difficulty understanding the deeper meanings of text now, or writing reports.

I was very impressed by this young man. He was currently working with teens who could not read, write, or do maths well; and he showed great empathy and concern when talking about them. I also watched him engage with the young men around us, and he was warm and fun. He is exactly the sort of person you would want working with your young teen if they needed mentoring, and he was involved in many community activities, and obviously a thoughtful and hard-working man. The sort of person many employers yearn for. His mother must be so proud of him!

As this young man’s mother must have done, I encourage you to continue working with your child at home no matter what others think, what the school is currently doing to help them, and even whether your child wants you to help them. This year I have worked with several students who took a long time to realise that if they applied a little effort, and regularly practised the strategies I coached them in at home with their parents, they could master skills they had thought impossible to learn. For quite some time these particular students were not keen to work with me, and for much of the time I coached them, they were certainly not grateful or willing to learn with their parents.

writing a book
One of my excellent writers

However, we never gave up, and the penny eventually dropped for them. They realised that we were not going to stop working with them and that we continued to believe in their ability to learn, no matter how poorly they behaved. At about the same time they began to notice that they were actually enjoying doing some of the reading, writing, or maths, because the work had become easier and so much more interesting. As they began to comply with their parents and complete regular coaching sessions at home, the parents, the child, and I all noticed a rapid improvement in how fast they learned new skills. They also became less anxious, demanding, controlling and reluctant when their parents and I coached them. Instead they became keen, confident, and self-motivated students who worked willingly and with deep concentration to master skills they now wanted as badly as we had wanted those skills for them. They became a pleasure to coach!

Every parent wants their child to achieve to the limits of their ability…wherever that is. That limit has to be found, then pushed, to see if it is actually the limit to what can be achieved. I have found that we often set limits much too low for ourselves and for our children, and that the actual limits can be much further away than first seems possible.

The young man I had met a few weeks ago was lucky enough to have a mother who believed that although he had Dyslexia, which made reading and writing more difficult for him, he still could and would learn to read and write well.  She didn’t stop at just believing in his abilities though. She worked regularly and persistently with him as long as he needed her too. She read aloud to him for as long as he needed her to so that he would have the opportunity to understand and use all the ideas and vocabulary his peers were currently learning, and she helped him develop his reading and writing skills until he could read and write easily for himself.

Plan to succeed.  As that wonderful mother of that out-standing young man did, and all the other persistent parents do whom I have worked with and continue to work with right now, create ambitious and exciting goals for your child, then keep them in sight, and each week take small steps towards those  goals. Each step counts.

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. 

Follow me if you like this post and want to know more about how you can develop strengths in your child with minimum fuss and effort. You won’t be flooded with emails. I only write every week or so. 

I like to share my coaching ideas with as many people as possible, so please Tweet this post or follow me on

Twitter; and share this post and the excellyourchild.com website with other like-minded families.

Warmly,

Anne

 

goal-setting, self-care

Step five: Change takes time and persistance: Take care of yourself lovingly


caring for yourselfNever give up caring for yourself. Plan to succeed.

Plan each week to succeed. Sit down each week and while referring to the goals you set, plan in appointment times to care for yourself. Have a set time you organise your week if you can, and plan at the end of a week or the beginning of the next one.
Treat your time to care for yourself as an important appointment. When you make important appointments with other people, you only cancel them in a dire emergency, then you reschedule. As you plan your week, tell yourself that the appointments to care for yourself will change your life. Keep that important appointment, and don’t let your busy life or others’ lives stop you taking the next small step towards the goal you have set yourself.
Keep your appointment even when you don’t want to. A new behaviour can take weeks to become an automatic habit. At first you might find it quite easy to keep your appointments with yourself, but once the novelty wears off you might find it more difficult to consistently keep walking towards your goals. When the novelty wears off, the real work of creating this new ‘caring for yourself’ habit begins.You might find yourself quite suddenly cancelling an appointment and going grocery shopping, as I did once instead of going to the gym.  Watch out for those moments when you find yourself skipping an appointment with yourself, and keep it instead. You will feel so proud of yourself afterwards!

When at first you don’t succeed…

Remember to be your own best friend. Lovingly and patiently forgive yourself when you fail to keep that appointment to care for yourself. I have lovingly forgiven myself each time I avoided the gym, forgot the gym, injured myself and felt too much in pain to go to the gym… until I knew I wasn’t going to give up on myself, and that I had just better turn up.

Be kind but firm to yourself. A loving and wise friend patiently forgives and then problem-solves with you how to make things better when you make a mistake. So learn to respond to yourself as a good friend would when you are upset and disappointed that you didn’t  care for yourself as well as you wanted to. Forgive yourself, and then quietly plan the next week a little better, a little differently, or with a little more determination.

Over time you will find that a friendly kindly gentleness towards yourself combined with a steely persistence to keep walking towards your goals means that you will create new, long-lasting caring habits towards yourself. I have personally found that each new habit becomes easier to create, and gives me increased joy and pleasure in my life.

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. 

Follow me if you like this post and want to know more about how you can develop strengths in your child with minimum fuss and effort. You won’t be flooded with emails. I only write every week or so. 

I like to share my coaching ideas with as many people as possible, so please Tweet this post or follow me on

Twitter; and share this post and the excellyourchild.com website with other like-minded families.

Warmly,

Anne

goal-setting, self-care

Step three: Caring for yourself takes persistance


Now I have made my self-care goals – then what?

care for yourselfWe have all begun new habits of caring for ourselves and then started ‘forgetting ‘ them and/or suddenly found that we have more urgent things to do than caring for ourselves. I want to reassure you that you are not the only one to find your willpower and enthusiasm is not enough to continue the new habit after a few weeks, or even a few days. Your life has not changed. It continues to expect you to care  for everyone and everything else first.  Perhaps deep down you also secretly expect that care for yourself comes only after care for others.

For inspiration at this point I suggest you reread my posts one and two on why YOUR self-care is vital for your family’s  health, let alone yours.

To continue – events and people in your life often sabotage your best efforts to care for yourself first. It is not enough that you have made wonderful goals to care for yourself. It is certainly only a beginning when you tell those around you that things are changing around here and that you are now going to do …whatever your ‘caring for yourself’ habit is. You have to ensure it happens by planning for success.

Step three:  Goals can remind you to persist when your life threatens to take you over again. Make them a visual reminder as to why you are creating this new ‘caring for yourself’ habit. 

  • Have your ‘caring for yourself’ goals easily visible to you. Place them somewhere you can look at them any time to keep you motivated. There will be times you  will forget why you wanted this new habit so badly, and your goals will remind you. Have them easily visible so when you feel tired, stressed, worried, or too busy to keep that weekly appointment with yourself, you will remember why you want this new ‘caring for yourself’ habit.
  • Make your goals visually pleasing and powerful.You can use colour, laminate them, or write them on a lovely piece of paper. To help my ideas flow more freely, I often use a creative mind map.
  • Find the right tool so you can plan your week carefully every week. Buy a calendar or a diary where you can easily see the whole month or week at a glance, and look at it at least once a day, preferably in the morning. There are many very good diaries which open up to the whole week and the Flylady website has excellent calendars
  • Place your new planning tool and your page of goals together where you can see  them easily. You can sellotape your goals inside your diary, or pin them up near your calendar. Place your diary or calendar in a room you spend a lot of time in, such as your kitchen or bedroom or office. You can use your I-pad or laptop for your goals and weekly calendar instead if those wonderful tools are always with you.

Step four talks about how to plan using a dairy or calendar.

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. 

Follow me if you like this post and want to know more about how you can develop strengths in your child with minimum fuss and effort. You won’t be flooded with emails. I only write every week or so. 

I like to share my coaching ideas with as many people as possible, so please Tweet this post or follow me on

Twitter; and share this post and the excellyourchild.com website with other like-minded families.

Warmly,

Anne

goal-setting, self-care

Step four: When the going gets tough – plan to succeed. Care for yourself first.


When the going gets tough – don’t stop.

caring for yourselfWhen I begin a new self-care habit, I often don’t feel like doing it, or I forget to. I know from lots of hard experience that if I don’t plan time during the week to care for myself,  I won’t. And even more, if I don’t keep reminding myself that I am making an important weekly appointment with myself, I won’t keep it. Other things will suddenly seem more important and I’ll cancel on myself. All the busyness and urgency of my life will suck up any time I have put aside to look after myself. However, something quite magic happens when you persist with keeping your self-care appointments. It beceomes much easier to find the time and energy and you begin to enjoy the new habit.

Do keep caring for yourself – even when you don’t want to. You will thank yourself afterwards. This last half of 2013 I have found that going to the gym has now become a pleasure. I say that with pleased surprise. For the first two and a half years it was definitely not a pleasure, and for a different reason each week. There were many perfectly reasonable reasons why I shouldn’t go. My body hurt and I was so tired afterwards. I was tired before I went, and often dragged my feet up the stairs to the gym. I injured myself gardening so felt I shouldn’t go. And the most common and honest reason, I just didn’t want to go. It seemed just too much effort for little reward.

However, because I had deeply understood regular gym attendance would change my life radically, and because I began to have little moments when I realised that I was actually getting fitter and stronger and sleeker, I continued to know that  the gym was the best way for me to care for myself and change my life for the better. So I persisted. Each week I referred to my goals, and planned time in my diary so I would make that gym appointment, even when I was extremely reluctant to go. Three years later I can go to the gym twice a week with pleasure, I’m back doing yoga, and when I walk and swim with friends, it is a pleasure and not a huge effort. I also injure myself less, recover faster, and have more energy and time for myself, and my friends and family. Fitness  was that one important thing for me to change so my life became much more productive and fun.

What one thing do you want to do to care for yourself? How are you going to make that a weekly habit?

teaching your chilod to succeedWe have to care for ourselves – no-one else. I want to refer you to Dr Stephen Covey’s ideas. He says most people live in the middle of concerns and problems which they believe they can’t change. He suggests we are happier and more effective in our lives when we concentrate on changing what we can control. Over time, quite magically really, our circle of concern can become our circle of influence. Increasing our circle of influence mean we can continue to make the changes that we deeply want  in our lives and those of our families. Stephen wrote some life-changing books. You might have heard of ‘The 7 habits of highly effective people’. Stephen shows you how changing your focus to what is within your control to change, rather than blaming life, others, circumstances, or disability for your concerns and problems enables you to take control of your life rather than be a victim of it.

I  suggest that you seriously ask yourself, “What one thing can I do that will change my life for the better?” and then plan to succeed in caring for yourself. When you discover a new habit you can develop which will change your life and your family’s for the better, then you plan to succeed. Plan each week to do that new habit through all the difficult times, all your failures, and all the little glitches, until it is a habit and becomes easy.

Next and last post on planning to care for ourselves will give you ideas on how to plan your week.

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. 

Follow me if you like this post and want to know more about how you can develop strengths in your child with minimum fuss and effort. You won’t be flooded with emails. I only write every week or so. 

I like to share my coaching ideas with as many people as possible, so please Tweet this post or follow me on

Twitter; and share this post and the excellyourchild.com website with other like-minded families.

Warmly,

Anne