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View Full Version : how to teach children determination???


Sister Fearless
July 31st, 2010, 09:05 AM
I am so sick of my four year old saying "I cant" "Its too hard" and giving up on things like puzzles and putting on his shoes!!

skiracer
July 31st, 2010, 09:14 AM
I am so sick of my four year old saying "I cant" "Its too hard" and giving up on things like puzzles and putting on his shoes!!

I think our job is to be more relentless in our perserverance, making them understand how to do things for themselves, and everytime they say they can't do something explaining to them that is the easy way out and life isn't easy for mommy and daddy or them so they have to keep trying until they get it right.
I think it used to be easier for our parents because my mother would say, "wait until i tell your dad this" and then my dad would give me a good smack on the backside and that would usually do it. but we cant do that anymore so it becomes more of an effort to outsmart and be more relentless than them.

tracerracer
July 31st, 2010, 09:21 AM
Small 'baby steps'....My son is Dyslexic with written lanuage disorder....We found out after the diagnosis (sp?) Thay fine motor skill problems are a problem with Dyslexia (very often) and here we though he was just a klutz ;) Trying to lean to his shoes was like torture to him......With out knowing, we just broke everything he had difficulty with into very small parts until he 'mastered' that step, then 'added' the next 'step', That seemed to help with his frustration level *most* of the time ;).......Good luck.................

axhandle
July 31st, 2010, 09:23 AM
Posted this elsewhere, but a good capsule of, nothing comes cheap.

theplantguytn
July 31st, 2010, 09:29 AM
My method for teaching skills to children (and even adults) goes as follows:
Watch me do it
Help me do it
I'll help you do it
You do it


Step 1 is where you explain what you are doing while they watch
Step 2 is where they help learning each step before going on to the next
Step 3 is where they do it with your help until they are confident
Step 4 is where they can do it with only you watching.

There are many skills you can teach using this method

Sister Fearless
July 31st, 2010, 09:52 AM
thanks all for the great replies. Most of them are things I know and use for teaching skills and behaviors.

I guess in my question I am wondering about the mind set of "I cant". This seems to be a blanket attitude thats coming out. And I worry about this because I wasted half of my life believing I couldn't either.
Sometimes the motivation seems to be laziness on his part like why should he try if mom is there to do it for him. And sometimes I think hes craving the closeness and interaction that my help brings. But I dont want to begin this self limiting belief pattern that he cant. We try to point out every time he is successful that he can do it. Maybe I cant expect him to understand this at 4 years old???

Is determination some thing you can only teach by example??

MukkRatt
July 31st, 2010, 09:57 AM
Kids definitely learn by example. They also believe just about everything we
tell them. Our favorite cliche is, "Can't died in the cornfield!" LOL I have sure
spent a lot of time holding my breath while raising kids for the last 35 years...
watching them all do different things while I was afraid they'd get hurt...but I knew better than to say anything else they'd get afraid too and the fear would
probably cause them to get hurt a lot quicker...so I just held my breath.
Like when my daughter was 4 yrs old and begged and pleaded for skates...I finally got a pair of skates for her, put them on her and held my breath...watching & waiting for her to fall and bust her fanny...but she didn't fall. She skated like a champ; like she was born with skates on. She's 23 now and still loves skating...haha but I think it's a little difficult to skate around on a ship as she is in the US Navy.

tughillcam
July 31st, 2010, 10:00 AM
I usually wait until they need something then I would
say it's too hard or I can't do it.
When they give me that look because they know I can...
I say, "See ? we help each other, don't we ?"

tweed
July 31st, 2010, 11:24 AM
My method for teaching skills to children (and even adults) goes as follows:
Watch me do it
Help me do it
I'll help you do it
You do it


Step 1 is where you explain what you are doing while they watch
Step 2 is where they help learning each step before going on to the next
Step 3 is where they do it with your help until they are confident
Step 4 is where they can do it with only you watching.

There are many skills you can teach using this method

Good plantguy! :)
Good method.
Don't forget that encouragement and instilling the belief that they "can" do it is a confidence booster and determination as well.

Steve

springfever
July 31st, 2010, 10:12 PM
Ours was, can't never could. Does this usually occur when the child actually can't do something or just doesn't want to? You could let him see you just assumed that he can, ex; if he doesn't want to put his shoes on, and says he can't, say, sure you can, here they are, we'll leave when you have them on and go in the other room. Don't do it for him, if he can actually do it. That's just showing him that if he says,
I can't, you'll do it for him.

allorganicinmo
July 31st, 2010, 10:48 PM
I use a lot of variety in my parenting styles. I have been studying parenting since I was a teenager (I mean other than my own, but from a psychological and biblical point) and now teach parenting classes in our church. I have found that, if you want to find out how to teach a child something that they "can't do", you must first know what "makes them tick". You need to understand their heart and understand their personality to determine what is going to be effective with them. Even after this, though, it still sometimes comes to trial and error to help you to "figure them out".

Some children will only grasp what it is and begin to form an "I can" attitude by you standing over them and literally making them do somethin over and over. Others, you can step away from the situation and watch from a concealed distance to see that the child sneaks off on their own and continues trying and trying to get it. Others, you may have to take them to something fun (like a new game that they have never played before) and teach them to do it. After they "get it" and are enjoying the fun, you can point out to them the difference between "I can't" and "I don't want to" and take them back to the task they "can't (in reallity don't want to) do". That's kind of one of those "calling their bluff" situations to remind them that you aren't stupid and know exactly what's going on.

Whatever you find that works with your child, hold onto and use it for a season...but be prepared for the day it doesn't work because they will grow and, as they do, you must learn to change types and forms of discipline with their maturity level.

Good Luck and God Bless

alina
August 1st, 2010, 05:32 AM
There are definitely kids that say "I can't" and give up because they are used to having someone give in to their whining. There are kids that give up because they've never experienced success, and there are those that give up because they are lazy.

But a huge key to developing persistence is to find something that the child wants to be able to do so much, he's willing to keep at it until he can do it.

I teach music, and most of the students that come to learn do so because they want to be able to play. Not all, of course, but most.

So when they want to give up, if I can break it down into small, manageable steps, then walk them through it (making sure they do the work, not me), and afterwards telling them, "Wow, you see...you wanted to give up, because it was so hard, but you didn't. And now you can do it! That's amazing! That's what I call persistence. Aren't you happy you didn't give up?"

Sometimes it's just a matter of hearing the child. So when he or she is dragging their feet, I reflect their feelings back to them. "Wow, this is really hard for you, huh? You feel really frustrated and you want to give up, don't you?" Then I listen, because often they will whine a bit more.

Then I say, "Well, I KNOW you can do this if you work hard at it. So I hope you keep trying. Because you almost got it. It's not easy. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. There's no magic fairy dust. You have to work hard at it. But I know you can do it. You're the kind of kid who works hard at it."

Yeah, there are definitely times I'm lying through my teeth to them, but hey, for the most part, I get great results. And after a couple times of them feeling that pride and sense of accomplishment for themselves, they don't need a lot of encouragement.

The hardest are the kids who get rewarded for every little achievement. Daddy's going to give me $5 if I can play this song; Grandma's going to give me $20 if I play in the recital. That just makes them focus on material gain, not on an internal sense of pride and accomplishment.

Those inevitably end up doing a half-a##ed job and get to quit as a "reward" for all their hard work...I hope they never end up working as an employee for me or with me!

The most effective book I've ever found for communicating with kids is "How to Talk so Kids will listen and listen so kids will talk," or something like that. Simple concepts that almost nobody uses, but soooo effective.

rockpilefarmer
August 1st, 2010, 07:39 AM
Sissy, I have looked at all the posts. Sounds like you have gotten some good suggestions, so I'll just say this. Parents are the first and the lifelong teachers for their children. I am glad you have not thrown in the towel and did the tasks for him. Children are marvelous manipulators. I especially like what Plantguy had to say...

but then, he is a teacher too!

theplantguytn
August 1st, 2010, 07:52 AM
Sissy, I have looked at all the posts. Sounds like you have gotten some good suggestions, so I'll just say this. Parents are the first and the lifelong teachers for their children. I am glad you have not thrown in the towel and did the tasks for him. Children are marvelous manipulators. I especially like what Plantguy had to say...

but then, he is a teacher too!

I aint no teacher......I be a senile old hillbilly.....................:)

Billy B
August 1st, 2010, 08:03 AM
My Mother used to tell us kids that "You can do anything you want to as long as you want to do it bad enough" We raised two children under the same guidelines. Both are now teachers and both have wonderful families that they are giving the same principals to. A FRIEND ONCE BROUGHT A SET OF CANOE PLANS TO OUR HOUSE AND WANTED ME TO HELP HIM BUILD A CANOE. WE STARTED INTO THE PROCESS AND SPENT THE BETTER PART OF AWEEK ATTEMPTING TO UNDERSTAND THE DIRECTIONS. HE GAVE UP AND WENT HOME. I REREAD THE PLANS MANY MANY TIMES BEFORE I UNDERSTOOD WHAT THEY WERE SAYING. WHEN HE CAME BACK TO OUR HOUSE ABOUT A MONTH LATER HE SAW THE FINISHED CANOE AND SAID" YOU GOT MY CANOE FINISHED" I REPLIED BY SAYING "NO I'VE GOT MY CANOE FINISHED I WILL HELP YOU BUILD YOURS NOW.

tughillcam
August 1st, 2010, 08:16 AM
My Mother used to tell us kids that "You can do anything you want to as long as you want to do it bad enough" We raised two children under the same guidelines. Both are now teachers and both have wonderful families that they are giving the same principals to. A FRIEND ONCE BROUGHT A SET OF CANOE PLANS TO OUR HOUSE AND WANTED ME TO HELP HIM BUILD A CANOE. WE STARTED INTO THE PROCESS AND SPENT THE BETTER PART OF AWEEK ATTEMPTING TO UNDERSTAND THE DIRECTIONS. HE GAVE UP AND WENT HOME. I REREAD THE PLANS MANY MANY TIMES BEFORE I UNDERSTOOD WHAT THEY WERE SAYING. WHEN HE CAME BACK TO OUR HOUSE ABOUT A MONTH LATER HE SAW THE FINISHED CANOE AND SAID" YOU GOT MY CANOE FINISHED" I REPLIED BY SAYING "NO I'VE GOT MY CANOE FINISHED I WILL HELP YOU BUILD YOURS NOW.

:D

tughillcam
August 1st, 2010, 08:17 AM
I aint no teacher......I be a senile old hillbilly.....................:)

yes you are... if anything you can serve as a bad example :D

axhandle
August 1st, 2010, 08:27 AM
Teach by example , kids are smarter than we think sometimes, just have to put things at their level.

w8in4dave
August 1st, 2010, 08:32 AM
If I hear my kids saying I can't do this, I say...yes you can, here I will show you..Once they learn look mom can do it, I can do it thing , it is not so hard ..Sometimes they see 30 steps to getting things done I show them 1 step , one step, one step...see it is not so hard..Of course my kids are not 4 years old they are out of the house...but it is always a teaching thing with kids no matter what the age..If it is something I have never done before I just say.. never say never ... if you try and do your best you can do it...
when your son says "I can't do this" tell him..."Ohhh you are so smart I know you can do this"..just keep reinforcing him how smart he is...when your told your stupid all your life you start to believe it (not that your doing that) but if your told your smart all your life you also start to believe it...

Sister Fearless
August 1st, 2010, 09:37 AM
If I hear my kids saying I can't do this, I say...yes you can, here I will show you..Once they learn look mom can do it, I can do it thing , it is not so hard ..Sometimes they see 30 steps to getting things done I show them 1 step , one step, one step...see it is not so hard..Of course my kids are not 4 years old they are out of the house...but it is always a teaching thing with kids no matter what the age..If it is something I have never done before I just say.. never say never ... if you try and do your best you can do it...
when your son says "I can't do this" tell him..."Ohhh you are so smart I know you can do this"..just keep reinforcing him how smart he is...when your told your stupid all your life you start to believe it (not that your doing that) but if your told your smart all your life you also start to believe it...

We really believe in this idea...in fact we stared calling him a genius......he is pretty bright. The last time he put his puzzle away before he was finished....said "I cant"
a few sentences later he was telling his daddy how he was a genius at something else.....and I piped in...."Geniuses dont quit"....probably not the best thing to say.....but he stopped and thought about it. We do tell him how smart he is. And a lot of this is laziness or just want mom to do it for me. I expect some of that....but just his uttering those words repetitively has got me worrying.

Sister Fearless
August 1st, 2010, 09:39 AM
My Mother used to tell us kids that "You can do anything you want to as long as you want to do it bad enough" We raised two children under the same guidelines. Both are now teachers and both have wonderful families that they are giving the same principals to. A FRIEND ONCE BROUGHT A SET OF CANOE PLANS TO OUR HOUSE AND WANTED ME TO HELP HIM BUILD A CANOE. WE STARTED INTO THE PROCESS AND SPENT THE BETTER PART OF AWEEK ATTEMPTING TO UNDERSTAND THE DIRECTIONS. HE GAVE UP AND WENT HOME. I REREAD THE PLANS MANY MANY TIMES BEFORE I UNDERSTOOD WHAT THEY WERE SAYING. WHEN HE CAME BACK TO OUR HOUSE ABOUT A MONTH LATER HE SAW THE FINISHED CANOE AND SAID" YOU GOT MY CANOE FINISHED" I REPLIED BY SAYING "NO I'VE GOT MY CANOE FINISHED I WILL HELP YOU BUILD YOURS NOW.


I like this....I haven't thought of the "how bad do you want it" question. That will work great for things like putting on his own shoes to go out and play for sure!!

Sister Fearless
August 1st, 2010, 09:40 AM
I use a lot of variety in my parenting styles. I have been studying parenting since I was a teenager (I mean other than my own, but from a psychological and biblical point) and now teach parenting classes in our church. I have found that, if you want to find out how to teach a child something that they "can't do", you must first know what "makes them tick". You need to understand their heart and understand their personality to determine what is going to be effective with them. Even after this, though, it still sometimes comes to trial and error to help you to "figure them out".

Some children will only grasp what it is and begin to form an "I can" attitude by you standing over them and literally making them do somethin over and over. Others, you can step away from the situation and watch from a concealed distance to see that the child sneaks off on their own and continues trying and trying to get it. Others, you may have to take them to something fun (like a new game that they have never played before) and teach them to do it. After they "get it" and are enjoying the fun, you can point out to them the difference between "I can't" and "I don't want to" and take them back to the task they "can't (in reallity don't want to) do". That's kind of one of those "calling their bluff" situations to remind them that you aren't stupid and know exactly what's going on.

Whatever you find that works with your child, hold onto and use it for a season...but be prepared for the day it doesn't work because they will grow and, as they do, you must learn to change types and forms of discipline with their maturity level.

Good Luck and God Bless

thank you....this is so true....every time I think I got him figured out he goes and changes.....lol

Sister Fearless
August 1st, 2010, 09:46 AM
"The hardest are the kids who get rewarded for every little achievement. Daddy's going to give me $5 if I can play this song; Grandma's going to give me $20 if I play in the recital. That just makes them focus on material gain, not on an internal sense of pride and accomplishment".

I agree here....this is not even reward this is bribe. Dangling something over their nose to motivate. I use rewards successfully when they are not pre determined or expected.
our library is doing this reading champion program where when you log so many hours reading you get to come pick out a prize....I keep turning it down cause he already loves reading. How ever I did use rewards for pooping in the potty as he was finding zero satisfaction in that activity. Once he got the idea....... we easily turned it into pride and accomplishment.

allorganicinmo
August 1st, 2010, 08:32 PM
yes you are... if anything you can serve as a bad example :D

:D

w8in4dave
August 1st, 2010, 09:21 PM
We really believe in this idea...in fact we stared calling him a genius......he is pretty bright. The last time he put his puzzle away before he was finished....said "I cant"
a few sentences later he was telling his daddy how he was a genius at something else.....and I piped in...."Geniuses dont quit"....probably not the best thing to say.....but he stopped and thought about it. We do tell him how smart he is. And a lot of this is laziness or just want mom to do it for me. I expect some of that....but just his uttering those words repetitively has got me worrying.

Yup and as soon as he sees something bothers you he will do it all the more.... My grandson was just here and he is 7 .. I just seen everything your saying... seems to me kids learn how to play head games at a pretty early age.. I think you just have to be ahead of the game.. :D LOl good luck sweetie !! I know you are a great mom and you will get thru this. Kids are just trying us is all ..... Huggs to you!! :D

rockpilefarmer
August 2nd, 2010, 09:01 AM
I aint no teacher......I be a senile old hillbilly.....................:)

Well then fine. Have it your way. I have learned much from you, and for that, I thank you!

w8in4dave
August 2nd, 2010, 09:08 AM
Hey just because they are senile doesn't mean they arn't smart....most senile people I know have forgotton more than I will ever know.....What did I say up there :rolleyes: don't sell yourself short!!

rockpilefarmer
August 2nd, 2010, 09:09 AM
Reading on through the threads, I will just add one more comment.

For some reason, most of us have gotten the notion that we should be able to comprehend everything we read the first time through. That is not always the case. Many times, I have had to go back and reread directions, passages in books, and even whole chapters twice or more to understand its entirety.

Why are we in such a hurry? I think we, as adults, often transmit this by way of our own actions to our children.

w8in4dave
August 2nd, 2010, 09:18 AM
Reading on through the threads, I will just add one more comment.

For some reason, most of us have gotten the notion that we should be able to comprehend everything we read the first time through. That is not always the case. Many times, I have had to go back and reread directions, passages in books, and even whole chapters twice or more to understand its entirety.

Why are we in such a hurry? I think we, as adults, often transmit this by way of our own actions to our children.

I have to do the same thing.. I always thought it was my A.D.D. but I have found alot of adults do the same..even when I lose something If I try to hurry up and look for it ,I cannot find it.. I have to stop ...(slow down) sit and think about the last time I had it, or seen it and then...Walaa It will come to me...

woodwitch
August 2nd, 2010, 10:04 AM
Small 'baby steps'....My son is Dyslexic with written lanuage disorder....We found out after the diagnosis (sp?) Thay fine motor skill problems are a problem with Dyslexia (very often) and here we though he was just a klutz ;) Trying to lean to his shoes was like torture to him......With out knowing, we just broke everything he had difficulty with into very small parts until he 'mastered' that step, then 'added' the next 'step', That seemed to help with his frustration level *most* of the time ;).......Good luck.................

I agree about breaking things down into small steps. Four year olds don't have very good fine motor skills yet so things like putting on shoes can be hard. I works better to sit down and take it slow. My youngest was also dyslexic and had real problems with reading and writing. She was very lucky that she had an excellent LD teacher in high school that taught her a different way to learn. She went to college and had to get some of her books on tape but ended up with a BSN in nursing and now works in a Neonatal ICU. My foster daughter was also very badly dyslexic the worst I have ever seen and she got a degree in business and now heads up a large child care business. Dyslexia can be very frustrating but I believe that in the long run it makes the kid even more determined to succeed in life or at least it did in my kids.:)