Monday, May 18, 2009

24) Problem-Situations (continued)

The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.

1) It is important that children set for themselves big goals and carefully planned small steps to achieve those goals. A child who is ranked among the bottom ten in his class, can get to be among the top ten, in well planned stages. High expectations should spur the child forward, but in steps he can take.
2) Use Role Models to inspire the child. Very often children mold themselves after someone they idolize.
3) Explore individual strengths. If one has a way with words, another has a head for figures. Build on their strengths.
4) Get fully involved in what the child does - in school and outside; acknowledge the fact that grades are not everything.Children who do not score high, despite their best attempts, can shine in areas that interest them.It is for parents to relate to their needs and encourage them.
5) Learning is not always fun. Let him not give up because it is tough.
Give him tasks and ensure that he completes them well, sometimes likening them to puzzles which he is accustomed to solving. Tasks should include chores at home, like polishing his shoes and tidying his room.
6) Help him to concentrate on the task; not to let distraction take away attention.
But be mindful that a child has a short attention-span.
7) When he needs help to complete an assignment, offer it, not by completing it for him, but by making him complete it, with a little assistance; clarifying doubts when he is confused and equipping him with problem solving skills. At the end of the assignment he must feel satisfied that he has completed a difficult task.
8) Teach, don't blame or insult the child with remarks like: 'you are dumb', 'how stupid of you' and so on.
9) If he has to deliver a short talk, help him prepare, redraft and rehearse many times. Don't draft the talk for him; he must do it; only then it will be his.
10) When he is nervous, teach him to relax, using breathing exercises and right postures.
11) Remind him of past successes. He should be buoyed by recalling those events and the joy that went with them. Success comes to those who find 'fun' in doing things.
Let him enjoy what he is doing, as he tries to succeed.
12) Help him understand the merit in contributing to team-effort. He will have to pass the ball to his team fellow who is better placed to score. If he does not let go, the scoring opportunity will be lost. His team will lose; he will lose. Good team work will give him a leg up in school and later, in work life. John Anderson, the Child Care Expert, stresses on the importance of children learning to be good team mates.
13) Give measured praise; based on the effort and result. For average, good, very good and excellent effort and result, praise should be graded. Much praise for an average effort and result confuses the child and expose parental hypocrisy. World class athletes (95%) said that parental praise and support helped them in the early stages of their sports life.
14) Experts give three reasons why children do not fulfill their potential:
a)Absenteeism - staying away from school for flimsy excuses.
b)They lack varied reading material at home and do not take to the reading habit.
c)They are allowed excessive TV watching.
15) The Experts do not caution against playtime. So, give him time to play and relax, the way he likes. His childhood will not return.

My boss gave me a simple tip 45 years ago: 'Hard work, planned hard work, consistently planned hard work makes for success'. It was true then; it is true today. Continents away, in the USA, award winning teacher, Rafe Esquith, in his book
'Teach like your hair is on fire', echoes the same thought. He calls his students
'unpolished diamonds', who will feel the friction of hard work before they glitter.
Someone rightly said: 'There are no victories at bargain prices'.

As the child gains in stature through repeated successes, teach him to handle success with humility, not arrogance. Kirk Douglas, father of Oscar Award winning Actor, Michael Douglas, sent him a note which read: 'Michael, I'm more proud of how you handle success, than I am of your success'. Would to God that parents can say that of their children, as they move from one success to the next.

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