Parenting is sometimes frustrating and often difficult, but it also comes with great rewards.
Attitudes to adopt with a child with adjustment and learning difficulties
This is all the more true when the child has a learning disability. It is important to multiply the opportunities and moments that provide satisfaction; this can be done simply by doing activities with your child in which both have fun, without worrying about skill, failure or time limits. These activities can be quite simple. This can include telling the child a bedtime story while hugging, singing while ironing or preparing meals, etc. What the child will retain first of all from this activity, what he will cherish above all, is that he will have done it in the company of his parents.
Parents are the right people to provide constant and active support to a child with a learning disability. More specifically, it is up to them to help him experience success in his activities outside of school and to have positive experiences at home and with his friends rather than failures. For it,they must know its strengths as well as its weaknesses. By helping the child to develop his abilities while remedying, as far as possible, his handicap, the parents help him acquire self-confidence and a positive image of himself. Now here are some winning strategies to get there.
Maintaining good supervision
Supervision is particularly necessary when the child has a learning disability.
Because he has memory, organization, coordination and sometimes behavioral difficulties, the child needs to organize his schedule, this allows him to know the time and the place where daily activities take place (meals, bathing, chores, etc.). This should also allow him to easily find his personal items.
Parents need to design a way of doing things that allows them to know quickly and precisely what is needed for the child to perform a task more efficiently (dressing for example). This also means that we sometimes have to simplify the task, divide it into stages or give only one instruction at a time. As the child's skill level increases, parental intervention may be reduced.
This method leads the child to gradually succeed in things that he was unable to do before. But for it to be effective, the parent must find out precisely what is wrong. Is it because the child does not understand what he is being asked toTO DO? Does the child forget instructions? Is he distracted by his toys or something else? Does he know where to start? You have to know the nature of the problem if you want to find a solution to it.
The primary objective of parental guidance is always to help the child find his own functioning structure so that he gradually becomes autonomous and capable of planning and evaluating his own yield.
Difference between punishment and discipline
Punishments are binding. Moreover, they indicate to the child that he is "bad" and that the adults are stronger than him.
Discipline, on the other hand, inculcates values that make the child eager to reestablish the adult's favorable opinion of him. She teaches him to control himself, which the system of punishments will never succeed in doing.
Discipline is a mixture or combination of example giving, teaching, mutual love and admiration. For a child, no one is more important than his parents or the people who take care of him regularly. The child who feels accepted and admired by his parents and those around him is ready to try to accomplish the difficult task and to discipline himself. This is particularly difficult for an impulsive child or for one who is convinced that he is not doing well and who therefore believes himself incapable of pleasing his parents.
When parents lose patience, whether they express anger orfrustration - this happens more frequently when the child has a disability - they don't model the self-discipline the child expects from them. It's always good to remember that self-discipline is a lifelong process.
Facilitate the process of change
Making decisions Children with learning disabilities are rarely comfortable with unexpected changes. Even pleasant surprises can upset them. They work best when everything is in its place and every activity happens on time.
Preschoolers with learning disabilities are usually able to work with parents to arrange their bedroom and reserve places to store trucks, dolls, and clothes.
By involving them in decision-making, parents teach these children to organize themselves. They are never too young to do this learning and to decide, for example, what to do first to tidy up their room. They can even make a list of tasks to be completed and put a checkmark next to those that are completed.
The purpose of this activity is to encourage them to put their things away so they can find them easily.
The use of a list does not exclude parental supervision, but it reminds the child of what to do andsaves parents having to repeat the same instructions over and over again.
Children with learning disabilities do better when parents share the same expectations of acceptable behavior and decide in advance what consequences follow from unacceptable behavior. As differences between parents often arise over these issues, it is best that they discuss them privately and agree on a joint plan of action beforehand.
All children should learn to negotiate for something rather than using outbursts, stubbornness or refusal to participate. In family life, there are tasks that are negotiable and others that are not. Even young children can understand that he alth and safety issues cannot be negotiated. On the other hand, they should be invited to participate in decisions that bear on certain issues, such as whether to take a bath before or after supper or to organize a family picnic rather than a meal at a restaurant.
Weekly family meetings are ideal for everyone to talk about the week's events, share concerns and feelings, and participate in finding solutions. In the case of a child with a learning disability, they are essential, because they allow you to discuss ways of dealing with certain situations, to retain solutions that have worked well and to eliminate others. Everyone in the family can share the help they need, whether it's tying their shoes, wiping the dishes or avoiding getting angry. Together they can choose who can provide support and how often.
Children who negotiate for something become more aware of their role in achieving an outcome.
As for the parents, they must take care of the problems one by one and establish an order of priority; thus, they ensure that problems related to he alth, safety or interpersonal relations are de alt with first. When a problem is solved, we then focus on the next one. In this way, parents teach children to prioritize and make decisions.
Knowing how to take advantage of mistakes
Every human being makes mistakes. Instead of seeing these mistakes as failures or disasters, we can see them as unique opportunities to learn something. In the case of children who have a learning disability, this parental attitude is absolutely necessary. Indeed, because they already have low self-esteem, do not be afraid to accompany any criticism of them with repeated encouragement.
Rather than comparing a child to other children of the same age as him, parents should assess his progress in comparison with his previous achievements. The objective is to move it forward, to make it evolve, one step at a time, from itscurrent state of development towards a higher level of learning.
Parents who recognize their own imperfections are more likely to accept those of their child. By adopting this perspective, they also avoid blaming themselves for their child's weaknesses or disabilities. They understand that he is also influenced by others and that his behavior is the product of many factors (environment, temperament, personality, abilities, etc.).
In all cases and especially when it comes to a child with a learning disability, giving priority to success is a mistake. We must rather help our child to function more efficiently and implement the means to make it happen.
Having a good attitude
Rather than becoming discouraged or expressing frustration when their child has a learning disability, parents must learn to accept the situation and take charge of the problem, but without stopping live for as much.
It is important that they continue to take care of the other children in the family, see their friends and devote time and energy to their interests.
On another level, it should be known that children do not really know the importance to be given to the various events that occur in daily life and that they rely on their parents to make it clear interpretation. While these focus on problems, errors and failures,children will adopt the same attitude.
Parents provide genuine support for their child when dealing with what is beyond their abilities. Moreover, they fulfill their protective role by encouraging him rather than blaming him and by being people he can count on. But care must be taken not to compensate for the difficulties the child is facing with an overly intrusive commitment. This is quite an art, especially when dealing with a child with learning disabilities.
As children grow up, they need our presence and comfort less, because they know that we are there to listen to them without judging them.
Providing support to the child is showing empathy. It means recognizing, for example, that a task that is generally accomplished without difficulty can be very difficult for a child with a learning disability. Feeling supported and living in a reassuring environment, the child learns to have self-confidence.
To support a child, you have to be sensitive to their needs and know how to respond to them, whether they are needs for help, approval, autonomy or loneliness.
Take siblings into account
The siblings of the child with a learning disability also need to feel loved. They sometimes believe that the child with special needs has the right to misbehave or do poor work when it isis prohibited.
Furthermore, some are ashamed of someone with a disability.
Others imagine that they are the cause of the problem, while some are afraid that their own children will have similar problems later. Finally, there are those who are disappointed to find that the sibling with a learning disability cannot participate in certain activities in which they indulge themselves.
Parents should not expect siblings to feel responsible for the child who is having difficulties. Why, for example, would the latter automatically be part of the group of friends of his brothers and sisters? They have the right to behave like children, to have their own social life and to express guilt, frustration, disappointment and anger, as parents do on occasion.
Help the child with his homework
Children with learning disabilities often have to work very hard in school to get a passing grade. Should we also ask them to do homework? Only a discussion between the parents and the teacher can answer this question. If the answer is positive, if these homework are necessary for the child to progress in his learning, it is advisable to establish a simple routine at home and firm instructions to manage this activity well, and to remain in constant contact with the child. 'teacher.
At first, untilthat the routine is established, the child should constantly feel the presence of his parents. Thereafter, it is necessary to put in place means to gradually develop his autonomy and get him to do his homework at his own work table, whether in his room or in a corner reserved for him.. It's also important that parents don't make it their job to complete homework for them. Their role is to encourage the child, help him with specific questions and develop ways for him to communicate directly with the teacher. All in all, parents act as informed advisors to their child.
These days, parents don't have enough time to spend with their children. So they have to continually prioritize.
One of those priorities should be working on yourself; this would avoid always looking for solutions outside and would give back to the parents their competence.
It's quite a job to be a parent! It is not an easy task; it is even less so when a child is different from the others. In addition to working on yourself, don't hesitate to join a support group, share your fears and your successes with other parents in order to better understand and intervene.
Who else can help?
In addition to the support of the parents, the child who is experiencing difficulties can benefit from the help of certain people who are outside the family nucleus. Grand parents,uncles, aunts and family friends can certainly help the child feel loved and confident. Adults who have a learning disability and who are successful in life generally value the support they received in childhood from certain adults in their environment.
Parents whose child has a learning disability also need the support of these people. They need friends to listen to them and understand them. These friends don't need to have deep knowledge of these disabilities, most of the time they just need to be there.
- Good supervision enables children to do things they were unable to do before.
- Discipline, unlike punishment, teaches children self-control and instills values that make them eager to restore the adult's favorable opinion of them.
- When parents focus on problems, mistakes and failures, they encourage their child to adopt the same attitude.
- The brothers and sisters of a child with a learning disability also need attention and to feel loved.
- Don't hesitate to ask for help and to call on the resources available in your community.