My 8 yr old DD has some learning disabilities, sensory issues etc.... She has made some great gains sense we got her 6 years ago. She is well behaved, loving, nurturing, and a wonderful girl! One of her main issues is that she is not persistent about doing things that are difficult for her. She gives up very quickly and says "I can't" all the time. I have found that a lot of things she can do but would rather have me do for her so she cries and says she can't do it, for example - tying her shoes is difficult for her, her hand - eye coordination is poor and this skill has been very hard to teach her, but we did it!! She has learned to tie, they problem is it takes her a long time and laces often come undone quickly. I am trying to get her to practice but inevitably - every morning - she throws a royal fit and cries and says it is too hard or "I can't" I have to get very stern with her but I get so frustrated because I know she can. I have come to hate that phrase "I can't" We have the same problem with zippers, buttoning pants and even with doing homework. If I really push her she can do these things but she ends up crying, stomping her foot and wanting to give up EVERY DAY - yet she does do it eventually - because I make her. I decided to push her a little harder with her homework - to do more of it on her own with out me giving her any answers, every day homework has become such a hard time!!! Tears, tantrums, time spent in her room to calm down - an hour later, she has it done, mostly, on her own! But we both come out of it emotionally drained and very frustrated with each other! I think that the only way for her to survive in life is to toughen up and do things that are hard. I have given her a lot of grace and lee-way - maybe too much, but now it is time to get in gear and learn these things. I am not asking her to do things that she can not do - I sometimes ask her to try new things, but mainly these are things she has accomplished already. Am I pushing her too hard? I don't want to break her spirit. She has pretty fragile self esteem and no self confidence and she really thinks she can not do these things. The only way I know to prove that she can is to make her do them. any thoughts or advice?
I just read this article today & thought it might help. [url=http://sensoryspot.com/2012/01/15/conquer-or-accommodate-by-wendy-park-m-ed/]Conquer or Accommodate? – by Wendy Park, M.Ed. | SensorySpot[/url]
I hear you. My DD also has severe problems with the "I can't"s. We push her to do things that we know that she CAN do (often to the tune of huge tantrums), and then afterwards we talk about how great she did, how we knew she could do it, etc. Then the next time she says "I can't", we remind her that she indeed can, because she's a smart girl and she needs to use her 'I can brain' rather than her 'I can't brain' and that when she said "I can't" the last time, she could (remember when you said you couldn't ride a bike? You did, didn't you? And now it's easy!). We also remind her that Mama and Daddy will NEVER ask her to do something that she can't do. (She has attachment issues as well.) And part of the process is teaching her to use coping skills when she's feeling anxious. Though we do have to be careful of those, because she'd rather spend 3 hours in her room, saying "I need to go to my room to calm down" than do a task that takes 3 minutes and is moderately difficult. We have found that if we don't push our DD, then she will do NOTHING for herself. We need to push her on some things and usually are pushing her on 1-2 things for a given time period, until she masters one of those things, then we add on a new one. It's a balancing act, for sure. You know your child best.
I remember growing up a family had a "Can't Can" It was literally a can that you had to put a quarter into every time you said I can't. And it was magic and the can gave the parents 75 cents when the kids went to sleep for the parents to pass on to the kids the next day for any significant "Tri's" Like 3 quarters (tri) for a try at something new or hard. It really worked. Something about the immediate punishment (plus getting up and walking away to the can to put money in) but the delayed gratification in recieving the award was a magic combination. It definately cut down on the "I can'ts"
Thank you for all your input. I love the "Can't can" idea!! And I am glad to know that I am not alone in this struggle. The article was good too.
We have the same struggles with our littles. Each have their own path of disabilities but each have their own magic too. We encourage all of them to use their smart brain, and always try their best. We push everyday, from snaps, to brushing teeth, to homework it's all a fine balance. It seems that some of the mastered skills may go on holiday from time to time and we have to relearn things. When the kids get pressured they turn off their smart brains and use their lazy brains. This was evident today when the school called saying L scored poorly on a benchmark test. L was being a poop and wanted to do ten other things besides a benchmark test. He wouldn't sit still and refused (not that he couldn't) to answer test questions. The school nurse called and gave me the run down of his behaviors (asking about his meds) and to see if he needed an upgrade of doses (rechecking by his Dr). Some of this is boys will be boys. Some is he is a young Kinder student. Some was just being a poop today for the teacher. We had a talk and he said he just didn't want to he knew the answers but didn't want to. We told him that the teacher is questioning whether or not he can pass to 1st grade. We told him that his friends would move on and he would not. His baby sister MAY be in the same CLASS next-year if he was held back. Maybe mom needs to go sit in class and make sure he is not a crazy man for the teacher. That made an impression, now he wants a second chance at the benchmarks and wants me to talk to the teacher. I'll let ya know how this one comes out but if he is anything like his sister E who is a yr older, they do it for attention, good or bad attention. :grr: E can write a book about getting the spotlight on her for bad attention, L doesn't want that role, meanwhile O is bring up the rear absorbing all of this so I think we will be getting a run for our money with her LOL.:coffee: :evilgrin: :evilgrin: :evilgrin:
I know I am coming into this thread late but man I can soooooooo see my daughter in your daughter. My daughter has sensory issues and a learning disability which makes her coordination difficult. She struggles with finer details of laces and buttons ect... When she starts to "panic" and melt down over the task ahead of her I look at her and have her look me right in the eyes. I say " you can, you are smarter than you give yourself credit for and I believe in you you can do this" and then I ask her to say it to me "I can do this" we breathe for a minute and then she tries again. Often she can then do it. I will help if she has put in a valiant effort. We also struggle with the home work. "I can't, I don't understand ect.." We often will just put it away and try it again in a bit if the trantrum of melt down starts. That has been a huge struggle for us. I also give her great praise when she get's it right and tell her she must have her "smart brain" on today. I also remind her that all those things she has learned are in her box in her brain and when she can't remember she needs to open her box to help find the answers. She has some trouble with frontal lobe current memory so she infact does know the information she just can't recall it thus the box idea. Good Luck with your girl.
Wow, they do sound similar!!! I wonder if their background is similar too? My DD was expose to pretty much everything, in-utero, suffered pretty severe neglect during her first year and then spent a year in various foster homes until she came to us. She has made such huge progress!!!! She really is a fighter to be able to do what she can do now! I just have to look at her huge accomplishments rather than her deficits! Sometimes that is hard. But really, she is a living miracle, and we love her sooo much!
Well, I kind of disagree. My 8 yr old DD has some learning disabilities Kids with learning disablities really have to use their brains much harder then anyone else. Its very tiring and they can easily get frustrated. Plus, the brain is fluid, so if one day she wakes up and can tie her shoe and then the next day she is having a hard time, it doesn't mean she is being lazy, it could just be she is having an off day. We are talking about a kid with a disability. I am not suggesting you just do it for her. I do like what singingmama wrote, its more of a 'coaching' feel. Then a 'you can do that', as at that moment, she might really cant. especially if shes going to school. There are book bags to remember, where she put her shoes, her coat, blah blah blah. Just a lot to remember and when it comes down to something like tieing her shoes, her brain might be on overload and she just cant get her brain to wrap around all of it.
Connie-- yes my AD was exposed to drugs and alcohol in utero and also was at the hand of severe neglect and some physical abuse but mostly neglect. She has been with us for almost 2 years and we are seeing growth and progress. I agree with the PP that there are days that she just is unable to accomplish the task that is before her. It is like a block in her neurons her brain just isn't getting the signal to the body parts or the learning part of the brain to do the task. She can do all her times tables one day and the next can't tell me 2+2 very well. So we joke and say that her learning room must have shut off lets go take a break and come back. I have learned if I break the frustration cycle and we all walk away when we come back she is often re-set and ready to go.