When was the last time you sat back and simply watched your child/student as he was working or playing? Did you ask yourself why he did a step in his action the way he did? Or did you simply assume he did it for “X” reason because he was trying to make it harder, or make more of a mess?
As a society, we have spent a great deal of time “assuming” intentions which were not even on a child’s radar. Therapists have dealt with adults still suffering from those past “assumptions.”
Be the adult your child/student needs. Learn to Never Assume with my book,
Have you ever come upon someone who needed help that you didn’t know? Or even someone you knew but felt was somehow different? Did you stop to help? Or did you avert your eyes as you veered away?
This video shows what happened as a social experiment using two individuals: What would you do? One looked like a businessman who fell while trying to use his crutches along a busy street. The other was a homeless man who also fell while trying to use his crutches on a busy street. How did it make you feel to see the difference?
Did you know that this same type of scenario occurs in schools every day with students who are seen as lazy, unmotivated, disrespectful, etc. Having talked with over 3000 of these students in the last 30 years, I have heard their frustration of feeling like they are not being listened to. That they are discounted by teachers and sometimes parents because they are judged on appearances. They feel that no one actually tries to understand how they are struggling, how they are trying but not succeeding academically, socially, or in everything they try to do.
Next time you see a child, adolescent, or student not achieving, will you take a minute to just stop and ask how you can help. Assume that they don’t want to fail, but rather need support to succeed.
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.
Reputation matters among kindergarteners, Japanese researchers found
Dr. Pat McGuire‘s insight:
This is an important study not just for children but for parents and teachers when working with children. In my practice I will frequently hear parents complain about their children not respecting them. I ask if they model respect to their children and their reply is “I will show my child respect when he starts showing me respect.” How do they know how to “do respect” if they have not seen it or experienced it? Remember, our children learn from watching us – just think about swear words for example.
Let’s focus on being the models and providers of respect to children so they can learn how to do it. Then when they do it, let them know immediately that you appreciate their respect.
I have been receiving messages from my readers commenting on my YouTube video from 2011 (Patricia McGuire video 2011.AVI ) about their interest in temperament and how it affects children’s behaviors. This YouTube video was actually put together as a demo video for meeting planners to see my presenting style. While I recognize that the quality is not studio perfect, the people contacting me felt that I was describing their children and their students.
Based on their requests I am going to develop a YouTube series of short videos on the temperament traits but also on the effect of those traits when put in the context of different neurodevelopmental disorders. Oh, you want to know what a neurodevelopmental disorder is? Good question!
Neurodevelopmental disorders affect one child in six. The disorders are;
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Specific Learning Disabilities
Motor Disorders (such as Tourette’s Syndrome)
I would love to hear from you as I plan these videos out. Just fill in this form to let me know. I hope to have the first one done by mid-May.
Thank you so much.
Would you like a free copy of my report on oppositional children? Click here.
There have been some great books coming out dispelling the myth that to teach kids we must drill them to death. I am of the belief that this is what is creating many of our behaviorally disordered students. They are either bored silly or extremely confused but don’t feel like their needs are being recognized.
We need to learn to teach to the child, not the masses. Until we know that the children are all on the same playing field, we shouldn’t be punishing them for not following the rules, the plays of the game.
Let me know what you think after reading this piece.