I spend a lot of time trying to find ways to help my sons learn.
Learn to read and learn to pick up after themselves. Learn to manage time and learn the multiplication tables.
Learn to toilet independently and learn to sleep (for the love, yes, learn to sleep).
I have been relatively successful at finding resources, other moms and even therapies to help with these needs, and so many more.
Sometime last year however, I realized that there was one common element in every single one of my kiddos’ learning struggles.
No matter what we are working on, rigid and inflexible thinking is often in play.
Our days usually start off well. Then one element of our plan for the day will change, or the project we are working on won’t go as planned, and all of a sudden, my son can be physically and emotionally overwhelmed – completely incapable of coping.
Since having this realization, I have been trying to find ways to help.
Asking, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” did not work. Not only could my son easily come up with the absolute worst thing that could happen, he was adamant that it would be the end of the world as he knew it, should it come to pass.
Gently reminding him that he was the one who wanted to make the Harry Potter Wand in the first place wasn’t my best moment.
Pulling off to the side of the road and waiting for the meltdown to pass was essential, but not necessarily effective.
No, as my boys get older, I have come to realize that in order to help them with this “fixed” mindset, I need to help them learn coping skills and strategies before they are necessary (not mid-meltdown, can I get a witness?).
Friday Fun-days: 52 weeks of Easy For Mom Activities
For this week’s recommended activity, I want to introduce you to Big Life Journal activities, as well as all of their parent support tools and printables.
The journal is essentially a step by step guide to help children understand and develop a growth mindset. It includes stories of real people who have overcome challenges and found ways to react to life’s circumstances. These stories fuel questions and thought-starters to help our kids begin to apply the same concepts to their own thinking.
It’s a fun, stress-free, non-therapy way to help my sons’ learn how to cope during the times they feel trapped in their own inflexibility.
Please join me today at Big Life Journal Blog. I share all about how much a growth mindset can alleviate the feelings of anxiety and despair created by rigid thinking.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.