These 6 steps are crucial whether you are dealing with children and adolescents, teachers, colleagues or significant others. Please share with those you know and would benefit from this piece.
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One of my friends in the consulting business wrote an insightful article entitled “Throw Away Your Integration Plan.” The friend is John Pancoast of Acquisition Solutions, a firm that helps organizations achieve more effective mergers or acquisitions.
His article was about having the flexibility to know when the plan you drew up before a merger was announced should be abandoned for another course of action based on some unanticipated development.
The main idea makes sense to me. No original plan can anticipate everything that is possible to happen, especially in a multifaceted endeavor like a merger.
Sticking religiously to an a-priori version of the path forward will produce suboptimal results at best and may even be disastrous.
It is not just mergers and acquisitions where we need the flexibility to change a plan based on new information. We deal with the need for flexibility in every area of our lives.
Over the decades I have read constantly and taken courses to improve myself so that I would be of the most service I could to my patients, their parents, and the organizations who work with challenging children and adolescents.
I have found some of the most useful information outside of the medical and psychological fields. Business courses, especially leadership courses have helped me understand the needs of my community. It also informed me that some of what we are doing as adults with and to children is counterproductive to what they will need to be able to do as adults.
Because of this I am going to begin sharing with you links of experts I have grown to respect so that you too can heighten your awareness and skills, with children but also with others you work and live with in your lives. If we adults can feel better about ourselves, and therefore less stressed, we will be there even more for the children/teens that need us.
Here is a link on Brian Tracy, who has increased the productivity of companies around the world over the last several decades. I hope you gain from him as much as I have – Eat the Frog, 2nd Edition, by Brian Tracy.
As a child I spent a great deal of time considering the possibilities of the world. I asked “what if” and then followed up with trial and error to achieve what I was working for.
My children and I played “what if” frequently when they were small. It helped them to think of the world as a place of adventures and creations waiting to be developed.
My grandchildren experience that with their mother, who has a degree in art.
But in my practice, I see too many children who don’t know how to ask “what if” except for fearfully. They don’t know how to ask with curiosity and anticipation. In school they are presented with worksheet after worksheet. They are losing recess time to complete these worksheets, sometimes because they can’t get them done fast enough and other times because they need to reach a certain goal of materials covered.
This article on creativity is a major red flag about how the current focus on teaching to the test is causing our children to lose their creativity. Creativity is so important for innovation and problem solving. Let’s begin a conversation with “what if” looking at ways to bring creativity back into the classroom and see what that does for test scores. I am sure it will improve useful life scores when they go to get jobs and start careers.
I have a colleague in the National Speakers Association who has C4-5 quadriplegia. He has an active speaking career, traveling around the country on his own. He has had to learn many strategies in order to be independent. It was not fast or easy.
He filmed himself doing the task of undressing (not to the explicit level so still rated G) to point out what allowing individuals the time and skills could allow them to achieve.
This is a message I would like all of you to consider as you work with your children or your students and feel that time has run out and you can no longer provide the time to get them to the mastery level of a task. Many of these children can already complete the task but need more time to use their cognitive skills to figure it out.
I have just found an article that provides 10 reasons why spanking is not effective. The reasons are all well thought out and are backed by the latest research on child development, especially brain development. I would like to hear what you think about the article and also about my insights.
It is refreshing to see that schools are now recognizing that zero tolerance and negative responses to all actions does not allow the student to develop a sense or mastery over their own behaviors. Students need to know that they are meeting expectations, not to just assume that if they are not being criticized or punished they are doing what the teacher or principal wants.
As a society we need to remember that children and teens don’t have all the answers. They need to hear often that they are making progress and developing mastery skills. They are not choosing to do it wrong or to make things worse. They need us to help them learn the steps to success.