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Archive for August, 2013
Why Do Parents Doubt Themselves?
If you’re a parent, you’re a teacher…it comes with the job! AND . . . we are our kids’ first and most important teacher. Yikes! What an awesome responsibility that is, isn’t it?
I took my job as a Mom very seriously from the minute I learned I was pregnant with each baby….and I still do, even though all 3 have flown from the nest! I believed it was my duty to provide them with as much love, good food, safe and comfortable environments, medical care, education, varied religious and social experiences, language, timeless principles, support, fun, laughter, discipline, and daily opportunities to interact with as many people, places, and things as I possibly could. This, I did. I was lucky in that I pursued a field that helped me learn more about what it takes to teach, motivate, discipline, and engage kids…the field of education. But, what if parents have doubts about their ability to BE their kids’ teachers because they didn’t go to school to how to be a teacher? Lots of young parents ask this question…and it’s a good one!
First of all, TRUST that as a parent, you DO know how to teach kids what they know. TRUST YOURSELF.
The problem is not whether or now parents CAN be first and most important teachers. We are thrust into that role the second we have a baby! The main problem, as I see it, stems from parents who don’t fully know who THEY ARE. When we truly know, love, and understand ourselves, with all of our gifts and faults, we can feel confident about knowing what to share and teach our kids. Even the most uneducated souls on earth can share love, comfort, talk, food, pictures, music, games, eye contact, hugs, nature, and laughter with children. It’s not rocket science! BUT, it does take knowing oneself, combined with an inner desire to BE our kids’ first and most important teacher.
Kids must be on the top of their parents’ priority list when it comes to what to do, what to say, and what to choose for kids daily. A strong desire to learn to be a great parent is the first step. After that, it’s a matter of knowing who YOU are, what YOU bring to each child, and what YOU can learn from others in order to fill in gaps of parenting knowledge you may be missing.
Bottom line: BE YOU…teach your child WHO YOU ARE…and kids will grow smarter and most appreciative.
Catch my new book for parents to learn more about being a GREAT parent: http://www.theteachableminute.com
As I head for Texas and New Mexico to help educators catch kids who can’t read and write independently, I am accompanied by questions that may be of interest to my blog readers…as you may have similar ones!
*What will it take for EVERY child in EVERY classroom in EVERY school to be reading and writing ON or ABOVE grade level? We have been at this for so long…for some of us our work in the field has spanned over 30 years and we have learned from the best of the best. So how can we make sure that what we know is transferred to those who struggle with kids who aren’t functioning where they need to be?
*What can we all agree on? There’s an interesting question to ponder. I’m thinking we can all agree that ALL kids have a right to learn to read using the best teaching practices, materials, and assessments available. I’m thinking we can all agree that struggling kids need to be motivated, engaged, and at times, entertained so they will want to work hard to learn what needs to be learned in order to reach literacy independence. I’m thinking that we can all agree that teaching some kids to read, write, and think is NOT easy…and it requires diligence, patience, a willingness to raise the bar and to keep them up there, and more time actually READING and WRITING every single day.
*What if kids can read, but don’t like to read? Should we be concerned? I hear many people say that kids don’t like to read and then use this fact as a reason NOT to move struggling kids towards independence. This doesn’t make sense to me. Of course they don’t like to read! Of course reading is NOT fun! Of course they see NO value in spending time, effort, and mental energy on reading. They can’t read well so why read? Even if they CAN read, they are not being motivated in the right ways to find the right reading material that matches their individual interests, attention spans, and age.
Questions . . . we need to keep asking them even if we don’t really know the answers.