Parenting can be frustrating.
But being a child isn’t easy either.
And we would all benefit from remembering that.
My son is home educated. We were learning about 3D shapes so I made sure that he had bright, colourful geometric shapes to hold and explore as he learned. Doing all the right things to make it a sensory and physical experience, not just a dry learning one where he would lose focus.
Only my son decided that he would rather make a Megazord from the shapes. (Power Rangers fans will understand). He then tried to push the sphere into the cube and refused to stop even as I uttered the words “Stop! It will break”.
The cube cracked.
And I admit to a moment of feeling that frustration rise. But he hadn’t done it deliberately. Sure, he didn’t stop when I told him to, but he has difficulties processing language and he had been focusing on building something. The simple truth was that I should have known this. It was my error, not his. I should have known that he would use more force than the plastic shapes could take. And I really should have known that he would not have been able to follow instructions consistently. He is learning, and I need to learn to.
My son is autistic. He also struggles to manage the right level of hand pressure, and sometimes he just can’t stop himself. My job as his parent is to help him be successful and happy. And no child gains those things from being afraid of getting it wrong.
Quite simply, I had bought the wrong kind of shapes.
So I told him that I had made a mistake and bought the wrong ones. And we calmly carried on with our maths lesson. No tears, no frustration, just acceptance and understanding.
And then I ordered some solid wooden shapes – the right shapes for us.
5 thoughts on “Children need acceptance.”
The best way to learn is when things go wrong. Love both sets of shapes, although I could see my kids breaking the first set too.
It just looked so pretty! But was completely the wrong thing. A friend recently told me about a situation where a carer shouted at her disabled child when the child wasn’t doing things the way the carer expected. Adults need to keep growing, learning and changing how they do things, instead of always expecting children to change.
Absolutely if a child isn’t learning we need to change the way we teach. Shouting never helps anyone learn and I reserve it for when my youngest is doing something dangerous to stop him quickly.
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Lovely post – it is up to us to change, not our kids! I’ve probably bought the ‘wrong’ things a hundred times but everything is fixable x
Absolutely! We may feel like we are going to burst with frustration but all kids needs to be surrounded with calm. And, when things go wrong, they need us to show them a calm response and to support them through it.
Disabled children need that even more. When they are struggling to make sense of things, they don’t need us adding to the storm.