The mutually respectful relationship you build with your child when coaching reading, writing, or Mathematics skills decides whether you will be a successful coach or not. Patience is an important part of developing mutual respect, but patience is a lot more than just holding your breath and feeling ‘patient’ while working with your child on their Mathematics, reading and writing skills. I believe this form of ‘patience’ is more often than not just suppressed impatience.
Here is a definition of patience I think is enables you to effectively and respectfully coach reading, writing, or Mathematics skills to your child.
True patience arises from clearly seeing all aspects of a situation (Growth and unfolding: Our human birthright by K. Tarchin, Sphere Publishers, 1985).
Seeing all aspects of why your child might be ‘difficult to work with’ when you are coaching reading, writing and Mathematics skills takes time and thought to uncover. I suggest that you:
Pay close attention to your judgments and irritation. Notice when you judge your child when they are learning reading, writing, and Mathematics skills. You might judge their ‘lack of effort’. They might not remember the reading, writing, or Mathematics skills you taught them, or they might be sullen, not concentrating, or unwilling to learn.
- Judgments create misunderstandings and erode trust between you both, making it difficult to work together on their reading, writing, and Mathematics.
- Judgments are often unhelpful and incorrect. Your child’s behaviour while you are teaching them reading, writing, or Mathematics skills might be caused by many factors you have no idea of yet. Remember the link between true patience and understanding all aspects of a situation.
- Your child knows even if quite unconsciously, when you judge them for their lack of understanding of reading, writing, or Mathematics skills. Your face, words, and/or body language tells them immediately. You can’t hide your judgements!
As soon as you notice judgment when coaching reading, writing, or Mathematics skills, create a positive thought as quickly as possible.
- Interrupt the reading, writing, or Mathematics coaching. Change whatever you are doing. You can turn away or look away, leave the room to get a drink, or take a deep slow breath and stop talking.
- At the same time remind yourself, ‘I don’t really know what my child is experiencing while I am coaching them reading, writing, or Mathematics skills. I have no right to judge another.
- Listen closely to them to understand. You might notice new reasons for why they behave unhelpfully when you coach reading, writing, or Mathematics skills. Look first to your own actions. Perhaps something you said might be the cause, maybe you are explaining too fast, Perhaps something else is an important factor. Maybe they can’t understand because they don’t understand other reading, writing, or Mathematics skills.
Check out my Ezine articles for more useful ideas to develop a respectful coaching relationship with your child and to find fun and easy ways to help them learn Mathematics, reading, and spelling skills.
Coaching your child reading, writing, or Mathematics skills gives you the chance to develop more understanding of them while helping them become more effective students. When your attitude is one of acceptance and interest while coaching reading, writing and Mathematics skills, learning together will be easier and more fun. Further ideas on respectfully and effectively helping your child are here and here