How do we know when to Back Off?
The struggle is real. We want to give our children the education they need, but sometimes knowing when to stand back, take a different tack, or simply back off and head in a totally different direction, is what they really need. Maybe we need it too.
But we want them to learn about EVERYTHING
Yes, we do, just we don’t want to ram it down their throats. And maybe our version of learning about everything is their version of a snore fest. Learning about EVERYTHING can, and will happen. Just let it happen, by giving them the skills to research, to ask questions, to find an expert, to work it out for themselves. Back off, in order to create skills for life. Make yourself redundant. It’s your job to do that.
Knowing when to change direction
Learning to read is still proving to be a chore for my youngest. While she is making progress, she has really developed, let’s say, a lack of love for learning to read. Sad. So, this week we had a very sciency week. She wanted to do lots of experiments, so I got a book from the library, and voila. We had rubbery eggs, rubbery bones, acids and bases with red cabbage water, and swimming sultanas. It’s been fun. and she may have read some things and written some things (insert evil laugh from me)
Make Science Fun Click the title to view for yourself
Here is a link is to the book we used. Simple, cheap and lots of good ideas using things you have in your kitchen.
Learning to read takes time
I talked about this in more detail in a previous blog post. Knowing when to back off on the reading journey could be the difference between them eventually loving to read, or hating it forever. You get to choose.
How much is this about your ego?
Would you love your child to say they want to be a concert pianist? That they love mathematics more than cake? That they want to find a solution for world peace, when what they actually want is to play outside? Maybe they are moderately interested in music but hate practise, and maths is ok but they will get out of it if they can. How are you with saying that your kid is an average reader, ok musician or reluctant scholar? If it’s about you, then it really is time to back off. We all have baggage. I find mindfulness meditation really helps me deal with mine, and operate from a place of love and acceptance (when I can, it’s a work in progress). Backing off from my own inherited expectations is…. well it’s essential if I want them to grow up to be the people they are destined to be, not the people my inherited expectations want them to be. For free mindfulness meditation and talks I love Insight Timer.
I’ve learnt the hard way that pushing something that isn’t working is like the proverbial pushing crap uphill. It ain’t worth it. Time to back off and connect. This may be time to connect with an individual child. Think about what they are into, make time to just sit and chat with them, cook with them, whatever connects the two of you. If you need to connect as a whole family, try a day out in nature or whatever helps you feel good together. Beach walks can be just as good in winter as they are in summer. When you are connected, it makes it way easier to see the way forward for your child and for your family. Trust in their ability to learn what they need to and trust in your ability to be their guide.
Knowing When to Back Off is an Art
You can develop the skills if you haven’t already. Take a step back and watch yourself, observe without judgement, as you interact with your children and plan their education. Connect, be mindful and watch them grow. Just be ready to step out of the way and let them do it!