After a Monday holiday Tuesday never feels quite right. It dons too much of a Monday mentality. So for this Toolbox Tuesday I'm bringing back an oldie but a goodie from 2013 that is a bit of an extension of last week's Kids Do Well If They Can.
So without further ado... the Always/Never Rule
"How could he not know it?! We do it every single day! It's always the same."
And there in lies the clue. Always.
"It doesn't seem to matter, he never does it."
Ah, another clue. Never.
These situations of absolutes- always... never... tell us that we are operating above our child's competence. Kids (and adults) do well if they can. So if a child is never or always doing something in a situation... it means they're not there yet to meet our expectation. And that's ok. We can change and bring them up to it.
And this is important, because while failure can be a motivator for success... too much failure is a recipe for incompetence and a motivation depressant. And kids are very perceptive. They recognize when they are not meeting expectation.
So what can we do? We can close the gap.
Sometimes closing the gap means nixing what we're asking/expecting... for now. Sometimes it means changing the environment or how we ask so that your child can experience success.
Here are a few examples-
Never comes or responds when spoken to from a different room.
What can we change? Where we ask from! No sense in continuing to ask for a response from a different room when he never responds. Not only can it be very frustrating to the adult, it's also a failed scenario for the child. Find the distance... and modality that the child can be successful from. Start there and then begin moving farther away.
Always has difficulty following his night time routine.
What can we change? How much responsibility the child has for the routine. What's needed from us for the child to start having more successes? A visual check list? Us to sing a song during the routine? A change of routine?
As the ratio begins to change at the child has more successes you can increase the complexity and expectations and build upon those successes. It's a win win for everyone.
What are the Always/Never scenarios in your home? What could be changed so that everyone could have more success?
And here's the annoying yet very true disclaimer- each kiddo is unique- take the tools and adjust them for your particular needs. :)