In Your Language

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Show them success...

they will gravitate towards it... it builds relationships... it builds trust... it builds rapport...

I still think about the time my mother told me I was a horrible writer and she couldn't help me. I felt beyond help. I felt cursed. I wasn't disillusioned to think I was good; but my best wasn't even good enough. I felt the burn of being put down without the offer of being pulled up. My inner voice wants to say to you "Don't you dare put someone down unless you are offering to help them up (succeed)."

I remember feeling conflicted when I heard my counselor respond to my sentiment that I felt like I was set up to fail and wondered why people weren't offering to show me or guide me to some success. The counselor said (to my best recollection) that it was a nonsense notion to have and that we shouldn't base our value on our performance (Christian influence). I felt misunderstood because I wasn't trying to perform; I sincerely wanted to learn how to do better (if not succeed!).  There is no sin in trying to reach success. Repeat failure is as painful, at least for me, as rejection.

This reminds me of how determined I was to help my stepson grasp learning to read. We struggled to speak each others language; he kicked and screamed; I kept persevering and being consistent; I vowed not to stop helping him through the good and bad until he felt good about his a-bility to read! And you know what? He reads with expression better than he speaks in conversation. But- reading with expression is a stepping stone to his verbal skills. May the domino effect (in the positive sense) continue!

This also reminds me of the times I get so angry at my daughter for not heeding my commands or advice. It seems like my "catch phrase" lately is "If you had done X like I told you, you wouldn't be in this predicament." I was trying to lead her to success, assuming she wanted it, and she chose to flail on her own "wisdom" (catch the sarcasm?). I guess part of the reason why I want to help her to success is that I won't have to spend the time in those "teaching moments" that kids so readily dispose of as soon as we walk out the door... so I won't have to repeat myself...

But I guess that points to my own failing (or is it a woman's failing) to speak to her  desires and expectations to/with her boyfriend/husband. We know they are not mind readers, but at the same time- we need to usher them to success (if they choose it) by giving them the information beforehand. They don't want to take the risk of guessing and missing the mark. They want success and they want to hit the bulls eye.

In the teaching aspect (not that I'm a licensed teacher), my strategy is to take the lesson one more step. For instance, the other day my stepson was acing his spelling practice based on words that rhyme and have similar structure/blends. So- since he was at premium confidence of getting the practice perfect, I asked him how to spell another rhyming word that wasn't on the list. And he did it without even getting to see the word spelled out. Or, I might give him a shortcut to help him remember that word when he comes upon it in a book or a shortcut to remember how to spell the word (like brighten has the word "right" in it and you know how to spell that from two years ago).

Anyways, rather than condemn mistakes or failure, be ready to lend a helping hand. Show them a little (or a lot) of success. I dare you. =)

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