Is your (dyslexic) child struggling with the demands of school and are your conversations dominated by school and homework these days? Do you feel the pain of your bright child steadily falling behind at school; the gap between his results and those of the rest of the class widening?
With a narrow focus on the academic results we often lose sight of the bigger, and much richer, picture.
Here are 3 very simple things that you can do as a parent, which will immediately change the dynamics at home and give your child access to his greater self, his more genuine nature.
Take an hour out of your own daily routine, perhaps go for a walk, or sit down with an old set of photographs – reminders of what your child was like in the days of ‘miracle and wonder’, before school. With that toddler in mind first, and the awareness that he hasn’t disappeared but needs more opportunity for expression, I hope you will be inspired by these 3 simple tips – reminders of what you have known deep down, all along.
1. Notice what you talk about.
Reduce the amount of time you spend talking about school and teachers. Feed the fertile, expansive ground of your child’s interests.
Dyslexic children are naturally curious and very connected to ‘real’ life. Their interests are wide-ranging: from everyday things that go on around the house, social concerns, to the natural world, the past and future, sport, science and technology.
They might lap up the news and information about the world we live in. Chances are that their fertile imaginations might feed into a loop of worry and anxiety, as they realise how complicated and unfair the world around them is.
So, be vigilant and help them find constructive resources to extend their general knowledge.
Keep feeding their imagination with stories. Our rich heritage of ancient tales and children’s literature are all designed to help make sense of the chaos of everyday life.
2. Keep them moving and doing.
Dyslexic children are practical, hands-on learners. Their brains grow and develop from doing; from learning and mastering skills. They learn through discovery and using their hands – not by being told. Accomplishment of skills leads to optimism which keeps symptoms of stress and depression at bay.
Encourage them to do as much as possible around the house. Daily chores are only tiresome, if you make them so. Stay positive and upbeat about daily tasks.
These kinaesthetic or tactile learners, need to roam as much as play. They need lots of opportunity to move their bodies – by walking - and to play outdoors. They are wired up to connect.
3. Encourage them to follow their hunches.
As strong lateral and divergent thinkers, dyslexic children have the ability to see things differently than others. They are original thinkers and can shed an original light on things.
The strong inner voice they are born with needs to be recognised and respected as a strong resource.
Once at school, their views and intuition are over-looked too quickly, or brushed off as ‘silly’.
Help your child listen to that ‘hunch’ and voice it. Being strongly felt, the ‘sense’ or ‘hunch’ may not easily be translated into words. By giving your child time to express that feeling, he will learn to trust his inner judgement, no matter what circumstances he finds himself in. If he trusts himself, others will learn to respect him for his particular views.