As parents or teachers we often wonder how to motivate a child to move forward when they want to quit. Though there’s not “the one” solution for all children, we want to share tools to support resilience in our children, and ourselves!
Let’s each begin by identifying the skills we want our child to develop, while allowing for flexibility in individual learning styles. Often, it is our idea of what we want them to learn and how we want them to learn it that gets in the way. For instance, if we had wanted our child to develop musical skills by playing the flute, we might find that the flute isn’t the right tool, but that our child thrives by developing musical skills through other tools (i.e. movement, violin, piano, singing, etc.).
How do we truly see a child and understand their needs as they grow? Sometimes the greatest gift we can give our children is the consistency of returning to a learning space and a structure where they can work on their resilience, through their relation to themselves, their peers, and understanding that the way they relate and use this space varies.
Learning in this space, however, may not always look like the picture we have in our adult minds of what learning should be. For example, in a parent-child classroom like our Music Together programming, the adult may be modeling the movement and participation of using an instrument while keeping the beat to a song. At the same time, their little one is exploring the space, seeing how their peers are moving, singing, playing. This may look to our adult eyes like they are not participating, but in fact they are developing important social-emotional, and community learning skills with their peers and caregiver models.
In our older classrooms, we see students bounding into class, thrilled to learn the next skills in a sequence of learning with which they feel a connection. In other cases however, they are hungry for the connection to their peers through the medium of music - a shared language and a new way to connect!
Have you encountered a situation where your child or student did not want to continue? How did you overcome it?