The "Dealing with Resistance" Tea with Julie series continues.
Tea with Julie

Welcome to "Tea with Julie," a weekly missive by me, Julie Bogart. My wish is to give you food for thought over a cup of tea to enhance your life as an educator, parent, and awesome adult. Glad you're here. Pinkies up!
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Cincinnati, May 28, 2022

Hi Friend,

You want your kids to feel valued and that their skills are ones they can count on. When they don’t see it, you want to insist more: “You’re great at this. Why can’t you see it?”

Start with what’s real. 

For instance, if your child feels she's not a good writer, then allow her to have that point of view. Give her the chance to say the truth for her so that she isn’t always having to defend a position (which tends to entrench any of us in a stance, sometimes more than we feel it). Let her know that you are looking forward to the day when her efforts to be a good writer match her evaluation of herself.

The truth is, when kids are talented, they are also much more able to see the flaws in their work. They have higher standards for themselves, they have more critical ability (that’s what makes them good writers to begin with).

When we keep insisting that they're good when they don’t see it, they put those comments down to the person (or people) not having the skills to evaluate. This process is intuitive (they don’t say to themselves, “My mom doesn’t know how to judge writing”). They just know that what they are reading doesn’t feel as good as they thought it would and so anyone who says otherwise must not be able to evaluate writing.

Be Specific

To help your children grow into people who have a more balanced view of their efforts, make sure that you are very specific in your praise.

Identify ONE good word pair or clever phrase or moving sentence

“I really like the way you hooked me with your opening line. I wanted to know what would happen next.”

“You write such vivid descriptions. The blood-orange moon against the night sky made me think of Halloween and creepiness.”

Don’t say, “You write such great stories. Everybody loves them.”

See the difference?

One enables your kids to understand what you see that is worth repeating and admiring, the one thing that works, the one thing that is a reliable skill. The other comment means your children have to live up to some ideal that they don't feel they've achieved. That’s a lot of pressure!

So take the pressure off. Honor your child's point of view and offer concrete compliments.





P.S. Catch up on all the “Tea with Julie” emails here!

Julie Bogart
© 2022 Brave Writer LLC™

Brave Writer




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