As an adult, you know that much of your child’s future depends upon the effort he expends in school and his attitude towards education. It’s not easy to motivate a chronic underachiever, especially if he’s dead set against participating in school or earning high marks. That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, though. If your child isn’t performing well in school, there are steps you can take that may help give him the motivation he needs to boost that performance.
Determine the Scope of His Abilities
Before you start putting pressure on your child to try harder when it comes to schoolwork, you may want to consider having him tested by an academic specialist or seen by an expert to determine the scope of his abilities. He may be suffering from an undiagnosed learning disorder or having difficulty processing information, which means that he could very well be working his hardest to achieve the mediocre grades he’s getting. Keep in mind that being diagnosed with a learning disorder is far from the end of the world for your child; in fact, once you’re able to determine the best ways of teaching him, you may find that his academic performance increases dramatically. Either way, it’s still important to know where he rests on the spectrum before you berate him about a lackadaisical attitude when he’s actually working as hard as he can to impress you.
Cut the Criticism
If you’ve determined that your child has no learning disorders or processing difficulties, there’s a good chance that he’s struggling in school simply because he’s not motivated to work any harder than he is now. Frustration at his apathetic attitude and refusal to work can make you itch to lash out a bit, but you should keep in mind that criticism isn’t likely to make the situation any better. In fact, it may very well make things worse by damaging your relationship with your child and making him even more sullen and disinterested in school.
Even if you mean well, comparing your child to a sibling or his classmates will almost certainly backfire. Your child is not his brother or his classmate, and it’s important for you to realize that. Setting these standards that your child feels are unrealistic and unattainable will only discourage him more. If he knows that he’ll never live up to the people you’re comparing him to, then he may feel like there’s no point in trying at all. Asking your child why he can’t perform as well as his sister or best friend is downright insulting, and ultimately counterproductive.
Think Before You Bribe
When you know that your child is capable of better grades and you’re desperate to find a means of motivating him to do his very best, it’s easy to reach for your wallet. Before you bribe your kids to bring up their grades, think about the message that you’re sending. Knowing that there’s a cash prize hanging in the balance may entice your child to cheat in order to reach the goals you’ve set for him. It also makes him look forward to getting a good grade for the sake of earning a reward, not taking pride in the feeling of earning good grades themselves.
Praise Strong Efforts
It’s essential that you know just how much your child is capable of, and that you place an emphasis on praising his efforts over praising his accomplishments. When you offer your child encouragement and positive affirmation for trying his best, he learns that the value lies within making his best effort, not just reaching the goal by any means necessary. Help your child learn to be proud of how hard he works, even if he’s not always reaching the brass ring. The value is in the determination, and your child needs to know that.
If your child’s performance simply isn’t reaching the level that you know he’s capable of, it may be time to discuss the matter with his teachers. They will almost certainly have more insight into his classroom habits than you will because they’re observing him directly, and may be able to give you some valuable tips for motivation and encouragement that will work with the unique needs of your individual child.
Thanks to aupairjobs.com for this helpful article. I want to add that many times help is needed outside the schools. Expert assessment of the student's processing skills can shed much light on the roadblocks which may be causing poor motivation. If your child feels defeated due to slow processing speed, visual muscle imbalance, or poor decoding skills, NOW is the time to act, before bad attitudes are confirmed and self-confidence is in the basement.
April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. The prevalence of autism has increased dramatically in the last ten years, 57% between 2002 to 2006, according to one news article.
A quote from an online news source:
UNITED NATIONS — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised the courage of children with autism and their families on the first World Autism Awareness Day, calling Wednesday for all countries to respond to their needs.
He commended the initiative by... the General Assembly to designate April 2 as a day to focus on children and adults suffering from autism.
"Let us pay tribute to the courage of children with autism and their families, as they strive every day to confront the disability with a powerful combination of determination, creativity and hope," Ban said in a message read at a panel held to mark the day. Read more here
Autistic adults are also in need of understanding and services. Read "An Adult Conversation about Autism".
The Listening Program, researched and developed by Advanced Brain Technologies, has proved to be very helpful to children and adults on the autism spectrum. ABT case studies are shown here
A+ Learning Solutions offers The Listening Program with and without the Bone Conduction system for learners in the Central Texas area and for Distance Learning anywhere in the U.S or Mexico.
Make a Lego marble labyrinth. This is a very spatial, tactile, logical task that requires clever thinking and some trial and error. A great problem-solving activity.
So many folks have recently told me about their sleep problems! If you sleep great and stay asleep for at least five hours, then just bypass this article.
Advanced Brain Technologies has completed testing on their TLP Sleep program and has made it available for the public. It is sound therapy. See the link below for reviews and the science behind it if you or someone in your home needs to improve sleep patterns:
• Fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, naturally. Drug free!
• Block out distracting background noise
• Beat insomnia
• Support brain plasticity (the ability of your brain to adapt and to grow new neural connections)
A friend and her husband (in their 50's) have been testing it themselves for months. He no longer awakens several times a night to go to the bathroom and they are having deeper, longer, more refreshing sleep. The "headphones" are really like a headband, so you can sleep comfortably on your side, and two sharing a bed can use it at the same time with a 'splitter'. Cannot be used for children under 6-years-old.
I ordered it for myself today. If you decide you want to try it, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. The TLP Sleep Program can be ordered online ($295 plus shipping), or order through my business and I'll pay $10.00 of your shipping through April 15th (my break for you) - just contact me prior to ordering!
For successful SLEEPers...zzzzz
Recently, my practice has had an increase in high school level learners. Some of these students have struggled for so long and seen little improvement that they have become resigned or defeated. They're done! It can be a real challenge to motivate them to "do hard things", to work through a therapeutic process to get real change for their learning and attention processes.
I've been pondering this for the past week and came across an article which may be helpful to you readers: http://www.onlinecollege.org/2012/12/05/10-surprising-findings-science-motivation/
May 2013 be a productive year for us all, and may we stay motivated to do and be our BEST in serving others.
This evening's Advanced Brain Technologies Sound Brain Fitness Teleseminar is on Auditory Processing. The seminar will last about an hour, then they will open it for questions. It is open to the general public. So, parents of children who have ADHD, reading problems or other learning issues, tune in to gain valuable information about Auditory Processing. The seminar begins at 7:00 p.m. Central Time, via your computer.
Here's the information and how to tune in, straight from ABT:
Auditory Processing Disorders: What You Need to Know
Guest: Jay R. Lucker, Ed.D., CCC-A/SLP, FAAA
Host: Alex Doman
Date/Time: January 2, 2013, 8pm ET (1am GMT)
Cost: Free - Open to the General Public
Alex and his guest, a leading expert in auditory processing, audiologist, speech-language pathologist, research scientist, and associate
professor will explore auditory processing disorders; what happens when the brain doesn’t understand what it hears, and what to do about it.
Along the way they will cover:
- Differentiating auditory processing, a language disorder, and ADHD
- How APD should be assessed
- Categories of APD and general treatment recommendations
- APD intervention with The Listening Program®
Click here to register for access to the call. advancedbrain.com/abt-teleseminars.html
Once registered, you will get dial-in or online access instructions and other details about the call.
This interesting piece came to our attention through the Learning Rx newsletter. Ken Gibson, the developer of the very successful PACE program, is also the founder of Learning Rx.
A university in Israel conducted studies of hand-clapping songs which revealed a link between those activities and cognitive skills development in children, young adults, and university students. Practicing motor skills while singing and staying on beat helps develop auditory processing, visual processing, and attention. Children—particularly those in first through third grade—who participated had neater handwriting, better writing skills, and made fewer spelling errors, too! One researcher stated, "There's no doubt such activities train the brain and influence development in other areas." Even adults benefit by becoming more focused and less stressed. Who knew the songs weren't just for fun? Read Research Confirms Hand-Clapping Songs Improve Cognitive Skills
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