As always we need to let our children know that they are special and gifted with their own special talents and abilities. We all possess huge amounts of capabilities that sometimes get squashed or erased by opinions of others, whether they be teachers, friends or hopefully not, family. We either build our children or tear them down.
This is a short story of how a wonderful child was rebuilt, so to speak, by a simple conversation.
Unfortunately as a tutor, I see this scenario much too often.
I young girl, 7 or so, comes to me for help with reading. She is sad, unsure and emotionally fragile regarding this subject. She is convinced that she cannot learn to read. She has had help reaching this opinion of herself from others. Her mother and father are huge supporters of hers, but unfortunately, she does not believe what they tell her regarding how capable she is.
We will call her Lilly. I sat down with Lilly and we chatted about what was going on. She was close to tears as we talked. She was extremely hesitant to discuss the problem. I asked her to read a bit to me and to say the least, it was painful. She told me that she felt that she was stupid, and that she couldn't read and couldn't catch up and so forth, holding back tears.
I looked directly into her little face, and with loving certainty and assurance, told her that all that was not the truth. I told her that she was a smart, smart, little girl and that we would be handling this reading thing and that it would be done fairly quickly. I watched her little face brighten up and her demeanor change. She had taken to heart my assurance and belief in her and she knew she could do it.
The best part was yet to come. Her mom came back the next time for her lesson and told me she was a changed child. She would come home and do her math homework by herself and looked forward to tutoring as she knew she was to be a great reader. I had to agree with mom when I saw her. She was different. She was confident! She was willing to read and practice and each lesson she got better. She was happy with herself.
This is an example of the power of positive reinforcement and letting children know that you believe in them, even though others may not impart that same belief.
These stories bring tears to my eyes. I would love to hear from you with your stories or requests or comments.