Five Steps to Help a Struggling Child Define Goals
Have you ever wondered how parenting strategies affect your child when they’re struggling? So many parents are unsure of how to handle their child’s challenges and reactions to different aspects of life. In this blog, we will share real-life examples of how your parenting can positively affect your child’s outcome in life. The Cognitive Emporium offers specialized cognitive-linguistic intervention and aims to close the gap between intelligence and academic struggle. Book a complimentary consultation to learn more about Kyra Minichan and her services.
A Short Story About Parenting
This story is told by Kyra Minichan.
Six years ago, our son asked us if he could get a dog. I distinctly remember he followed this request by exclaiming that a house is not a home without a dog! It had been three years since we had a dog in our home; in our son’s opinion, it was time for that to change. He also had decided that our new four-legged friend needed to be a Bernedoodle, a mix between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle. To seal the deal, our son went to great lengths to make a video showing his dad and me that he was a responsible son, which meant he would take care of the dog and earn the right to receive this gift. So he sent the video to us separately, and the text exchange between my husband and I went something like this: “How can we say no to that?” The next day, I found myself Googling the breed and had to admit Bernedoodles were adorable and came with all of the necessary boxes I needed to be checked for this breed to be in our home—the most prominent checkbox being: Hypoallergenic and no shedding.
Fast forward, we found a breeder and, within a month, welcomed Duke into our lives. I have included a picture of Duke in this blog to make the following point. Your expectations of what you think you are getting don’t always meet the reality of what you get. Duke does not look like the dog I thought we were getting. I fell in love with the idea of a big, fluffy, non-shedding dog. Instead, I got a manly-looking four-legged friend resembling the rest of the men living under my roof. I could have let the disappointment from my expectation stifle me, or I could embrace my reality. I chose the latter, and I am glad that I did. While Duke doesn’t look the way I wanted him to, and his black fur is constantly being swept up from my floors, he is the most loyal companion I have ever owned. Furthermore, he is the only dog I have owned who gets attention and compliments, unlike anything I have ever seen. I would have missed all of this if I had stayed stuck in my expectations and forgotten about living in reality.
Parenting Expectations vs. Reality
Parenting can be similar to this. Before our kids are born, we dream of their future. We have expectations of grandeur and how things will go. Then BOOM, next thing you know, our kids are born, and struggles arise. We have two choices, deny or accept. One keeps us from living authentically and adds extra pressure to the child, and the other requires us to feel our emotions of grieving what we thought so we could move into accepting a different reality. Having worked with families for thirty years, I can tell you that acceptance offers many more benefits and adds much more joy to your life.
Embracing ADHD Behavior
In the book, The Element by Dr. Ken Robinson, he shares a story of a little girl named Gillian who struggled to pay attention in the classroom. She wasn’t turning in assignments, her grades were horrible, and she disrupted the entire classroom because she never stopped moving. Instead, the school recommended that her parents take her to a psychiatrist and informed Gillian’s mom that they were not equipped to deal with Gillian. Heartbroken, her mom followed the school’s recommendation, found a psychiatrist, and took her there. On the day of the appointment, the doctor escorted the two into his office, asked questions, and observed the little girl sitting on her hands so he would not see her wiggle. Once the testing was completed, the doctor asked to speak to Gillian’s mom alone while she waited in another room. He escorted Gillian, turned on the music, and closed the door. The psychiatrist told Gillian’s mom to look through the window and wait and watch to see what Gillian did. Within minutes, Gillian was up on her feet, dancing gracefully to the music. The two adults were mesmerized by her movement. The psychiatrist turned to Gillian’s mom and said, “Your daughter is a dancer. She doesn’t need a ‘special needs school,’ enroll her in dance school.” Dr. Robinson shares the rest of this story, which occurred in the 1930s before ADHD labels were even given. Little Gillian, the problematic school kid, became one of the most accomplished choreographers of our time, Gillian Lynne. She was able to put her life print on this world and make a difference. All because a mom could accept her current reality and the unique card her daughter was given. It was not the expectation that Mrs.Lynne had planned for her daughter. Her school life did not look like she thought it would look. Had she forced it to do so or denied that there was an issue, the world would have missed out on such amazing Broadway musicals as Cats and Phantom of the Opera, to name a few.
5 Steps to Help Your Struggling Child
If you have a struggling child, there are five steps that you can take right now to help them move forward:
- Accept the current reality.
- Find a “Who” that can help you identify the root of the problem.
- Commit to not giving up until you find a plan and a solution.
- Trust the process.
- Watch as the transformation happens.
If completed in the correct order, this simple five-step process will move you from your current reality to something better than you ever imagined. How do we know this? Because of Kyra’s 30 years of experience, she frequently meets the Gillians of the world. With her vast knowledge and experience, she can recognize their superpowers and offer a solution to stop the struggle.
Find a Plan for Your Struggling Child
If your child is struggling, you can take steps to help them. With the proper guidance, tools, and counseling, you will help your child develop critical strategies to excel in life and uncover their potential. If you are ready to find the right plan for your child, schedule an evaluation by booking a free 10-minute online consultation.