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Every Parent Is a Perfect Learning Coach – Part Two

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Every Parent Is a Perfect Learning Coach

part two

I’m a day late but hopefully not a dollar short – here is part two of “Every Parent Is a Perfect Learning Coach” to go with Part One that was published Wednesday. Hope you enjoy!

More Reasons You’re a Great Learning Coach for Your Child

• Only You Can Eliminate the Perception of a Child “Behind”

Amazing, isn’t it, that the perception of a child “falling behind” is so pervasive in our culture that a president uses it to bring attention to his plans to fix educational woes? It was a good choice, though, because it’s scary. The perception carries with it a painful, negative, guilt-ridden stigma.

family learning coachIn his best seller, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (and now fifteen years later he has added an eighth in a book called The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness), Stephen R. Covey relates how one of his sons fell victim to Stephen’s and his wife Sandra’s perceptions of him as “behind:” socially immature, athletically uncoordinated, and a poor student. Through honest examination of their own feelings, the couple had to admit that even though they loved and cared for the boy, they were trying to help him based on their own perception of him as inadequate. The Coveys “began to realize that if we wanted to change the situation, we first had to change ourselves. And to change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.”

Fellow parents, this is where they unlocked the door to truly helping their child. “We began to see our son in terms of his own uniqueness. We saw within him layers and layers of potential that would be realized at his own pace and speed. We decided to relax and get out of his way and let his own personality emerge. We saw our natural role as being to affirm, enjoy, and value him. We also conscientiously worked on our motives…so that our own feelings of worth were not dependent on our children’s ‘acceptable’ behavior.”

Like those who employ the learning coach approach within their families, when the Coveys stopped judging and comparing their son, when they stopped measuring him against social expectations, they began to enjoy him. And like other children whose parents have shed the perception of “behind,” the child flourished.

“As the weeks and months passed…he began to blossom, at his own pace and speed,” Stephen writes. “He became outstanding as measured by standard social criteria – academically, socially and athletically – at a rapid clip, far beyond the so-called natural developmental process.”

Many of us arrive in the brave new world of parenting completely conditioned to help our children toward success by accepting the school-imposed method of judging and measuring. The act’s inevitable outcome is winners and losers, those ahead and those “behind.” In your role as parent learning coach, you and your child can leave this detrimental perception behind and move into the wonderful world of acceptance and enjoyment – then watch your baby fly!

• No One Loves Your Child More

Yes, many teachers grow to like, value, and respect the children in their classrooms, and they are to be commended. But even the most devoted won’t – can’t – love and cherish your child as you.

Julia and Chris’ son, Ian, is the third of their four children. At age three he was diagnosed as autistic. Julia characterizes his behavior as “abominable” when it came time to enter kindergarten, and he still didn’t speak much. Despite this, “The school services and special education personnel were wonderful,” says Chris, “but their focus on the whole word method of learning to read wasn’t working for Ian. Knowing and loving Chris as we did, we believed the acquisition of reading skills would make a big difference in his ability and desire to speak.”

Julia was surprised at how much Ian enjoyed picking up letter sounds when exposed to a fun phonics program at home at night, “but now I realize it’s because he likes symbols.” The family “played” patiently together as often as possible for about six months.

“Did you see the movie, ‘The Miracle Worker’?” Julia asks. “Just as Helen Keller did with water and the sign for it, Ian put together the letter sounds and the word, cat, one night. He took off from there. Now that he’s learned to communicate his feelings life is better for all of us. I don’t know how long it would have taken if we’d just sat back and waited for the other reading method to work – or if it would have worked at all. We’re just so happy now to be able to give – and receive – expressions of love!”

• No One Cares More about Your Child’s Future

When we’re talking about your child’s learning experience, we’re also talking about her future. There’s no one besides her with a greater stake in it than you. After all, when you smooth the way for your child’s responsible independence, this means she comes out of the starting gate into adulthood prepared and running, her best shot at a happy, meaningful, productive life. What better insurance that she’s not still living at home when she’s thirty-five!

The Learning Coach Approach is now available as an eBook right here at Parent at the Helm. Click the title for link to more information.

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