Fredericksburg Parent

March 2017

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20 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • March 2017 ages & stages Stop Saving the Day According to Getting it Wrong: Surprising Tips on How To Learn, "Trying and failing . . . is actually helpful to learning. It's an idea that has obvious applications for education," as well as all areas of life. Parents should leave room for failure and mistakes allowing those to be real world teaching tools. When a child forgets their lunch, the parent should avoid bringing lunch for them. If a child forgets a book for class, don't bring it in for them. If a child forgets to print their big paper, let them learn to deal with the consequences. While supporting your student who is habitually forgetful or who has been diagnosed with ADHD is important, remember that bailing some children out teaches them that they can expect support systems to catch them when they fall and they never learn to grow from failure. Use these mistakes to allow them to learn coping mechanisms and problem solving skills, both of which can result in greater resiliency, creativity and maturity. FoSTerinG independence A lot has been written about millennials, young men and women who, throughout school, were so dependent on parents, praise and electronics that they have come under scrutiny for not being able to be self-suffi cient. Some of this is true. Some of this is typical generation bashing. In the worst cases, two of the contributing factors to this phenomenon have been helicopter and snowplow parenting. Helicopter parenting is when a parent hovers over a child, micromanaging responsibilities. Snowplow parenting is when a parent removes any obstacles from a child's path. Helicopter and snowplow parenting may solve short-term problems, but have the potential to create serious problems later on, as more and more college students who grew up with this kind of parenting suffer from low self-esteem, depression and anxiety, and are more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as smoking and binge drinking. These often occur as a result of the lack of coping skills that are not developed when a child is over-parented. Here are three ways parents can foster more independence in their high school age children. WRITTEN BY JAMES NOLL Encourage Self-Advocacy Self-advocacy has some extra benefi ts. A child who exercises self- advocacy can: • Find solutions to challenges her parents may not be aware of • Build self-confi dence in her ability to learn • Create a sense of ownership over learning • Develop independence and self-empowerment* While shyness and introversion are understandable natural personality traits, the ability to advocate for one's self is also a natural progression of maturity. High school age students should be able to talk to a teacher or a boss about a variety of issues, from low grades and diffi culty understanding material to job performance. Again, it's OK to properly provide support, advice and feedback to your child about these issues, but doing it for him promotes over-reliance on someone else. and problem solving skills, both natural progression of maturity. High school age students should be able to talk to a teacher or a to properly provide support, advice and feedback to your child about these issues, but doing it for Stop Micromanaging Education According to Teen Discipline: Don't Micromanage Your Teen by Elaine Bowers, too little involvement can result in the surprise "D" on the report card . . . but micromanaging can cause push- back from a resentful teenager, resulting in more serious problems. Barring extreme examples, insisting that your child's bad grades are the result of single teacher's class, accusing a teacher of bias against your child and, when that doesn't work, demanding that an administrator intervene is harmful. Yes, perhaps a grade might be changed, but the student has not learned anything, and in the long term this can lead to a variety of problems. If your high school aged child is struggling in a class, that's OK! Education is about more than easily mastering material. Part of learning is also learning how to deal with diffi cult concepts and hard assignments. Support your child through this period of How to Take a Hands-Off Approach So Your Child Can Grow

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