Aunty Aidan: On New Skills & New Challenges

Dear Aunty Aidan,

How do I provide support for my child who wants desperately to do something but doesn’t yet have the skills or the nerve?

Unsure


Dear Unsure,

Each of us approaches a new task from different angles and at different paces. Since respect is the cornerstone of any relationship, it is important to allow your child enough space to figure out their own abilities and limitations, to solve their own problems by thinking independently, and to rely on their inner teacher to motivate them to take on new challenges. (Just like in the Montessori classroom.)

To be supportive, not judgmental; always affirm your child’s feeling of apprehension and ask how you can be of help. Obviously their age will dictate the depth of that conversation. Observe how much they can already accomplish and teach any necessary interim skill(s). Help them analyze the steps required to be successful and write them down or draw a picture for future reference. If possible, practice the “something” on a smaller scale.

Then step back, reiterate your confidence in them and congratulate them on their bravery, diligence and ingenuity.

Sincerely,

Aunty Aidan

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