Parents Share Their Concerns
Last night, I presented to a lovely group of moms of children of various ages. They shared many of the same concerns, so I thought my readers might enjoy hearing their questions and some strategies I offered for dealing with their challenges.
In today's blog, I will answer Question Number One: What if my son claims he is bored?
Boredom is often misunderstood my students. They use boredom when they really mean “hard.” Clarifying this will help them understand what ‘boring’ feels like and what they can do about it.
It helps to ask them what is boring about the subject they are studying. They may be able to answer that question, or they may say the teacher is just repeating what they already know.
If they don't know what is boring, clarification is helpful. Ask if they have a subject that isn't boring. Then ask, "Why isn't it boring." I can pretty much guarantee they will say, "Because it is easy." Respond by saying, "So _____ isn't boring because it is easy, right? Could it be possible that ______ is boring because it is hard?" Students will see they have been defining their feelings incorrectly and will understand what they actually are feeling is “it is hard for me.”
Redirection again about dealing with “hard” is very important. "So if it is hard, how do you think it can get easier?" Most students will honestly answer, "By practicing." Offering students ways to practice is helpful. They will need actual things they can see themselves doing in order to change their feelings from “hard” to “easy.” Be watching for my next blog about my soccer analogy. It helps students see the value of practice.
If children claim the material they are learning is what they know already, share that teachers often remind students of past information when they are trying to offer new information that is an extension of something they have already taught.
Encourage them to listen for the new information. Repeating information is also another way teachers help students build stronger recall around important information. Teachers will revisit concepts to assure that the concepts are not lost. The movie Inside Out beautifully demonstrates the workers throwing away old useless memories that aren’t needed anymore to make room for new ones. The movie is a beautiful explanation of how the brain stores and prunes information. Helping children see that revisiting these concepts is something to be glad about, since it is helping them store memories and saving them for future use.