Do You Ever Assume?

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,

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Never Assume: Getting To Know Children Before Labeling Them.

One Child in Six

xnormal distribution homework.uoregon.eduHave you ever noticed that the number quoted about high risk problems all seem to settle on or at one in six? This would mean that the vast majority of us live okay lives. But for those who live at the left far end of the bell curve, it means excessive stressors and dysfunction.

Here is a link to a recent article I published on LinkedIn, looking at the concerns of these children. Society sees these children as challenging since the stressors frequently lead to unwanted behavior and our feeling that we must control it.

Let me know what you think.

Why are we burning out all the professionals who help our kids?

pediatric profiler pictureBelow is the link to an article written by a relatively new teacher (about 5 years in the classroom) who lists all the things that she has done for her students and all the struggles they have experienced during her tenure.  She is strongly considering quitting the profession but wants the policy makers to understand why.

This burnout is not just occurring in the schools.  If you ask any of the professionals whose passion is helping children and adolescents, you will year the same issues, the same frustrations, and the same hopelessness about how we, as a society, are letting down our youth.

Love, Teach: What I Wish I Could Tell Them About Teaching in a Title I School

Please start a conversation here or among your colleagues about what she has said and what we can do, both at the grassroots level and at the policy level to turn this around. One thing is certain, we need our “in the trenches” professionals to be part of the conversation and solution, not just the ones who have to live with the “wisdom” of others.

Smart is Dumb

I always enjoying reading Robert Whipple’s blogs because our views on how to lead are so similar. And those that know me know that I refer to Detective Columbo frequently as a model of how to work with children and adolescents, rather than the way today’s TV cops interrogate suspects. So much more information is gained by softly leading others to insights, than by trying to ram it down their throats. And believe it or not, sometimes others, including our children and adolescents do have good reasons and ideas.

Dud ManagerIn his famous program, “Effective Negotiating,” Chester A. Karrass, makes the observation that, in negotiations, often appearing dumb is a great strategy.

The idea is that acting naïve causes the other party to fill in some blanks with information that may ultimately be helpful to you in the negotiation.

Conversely, acting as if you know everything is usually a bad strategy, because you end up supplying too much information too early in the conversation. This habit gives your opponent in the negotiation a significant advantage.

As I work with leaders in organizations of all sizes, a similar observation could be made about leadership. Being dumb is sometimes smart, and being too smart is often dumb. Let’s examine some examples of why this dichotomy is a helpful concept.

To make enlightened decisions, leaders need good information. It sounds simple, but in the chaos of every day organizational issues, it is sometimes…

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Where did creativity go?

pediatric profiler pictureAs 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.

Give them the skills and time and they can succeed

pediatric profiler pictureI 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.

Here is Chad’s YouTube video.  Let me know what you think.

 

Need a reason not to spank? I have 10!

pediatric profiler pictureI 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.

I have it on my curated site of Scoop It.