Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
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One of our teachers has been studying Betty Osman’s Learning Disability: A Family Affair. Although the book is a support system for parents whose child has been diagnosed with a learning disability, the information in Osman’s book can be useful to all of us. The point is that every one of us has a unique learning style. We may learn exactly the way the teacher teaches or we may be clueless to her way of communicating. It’s almost the luck of the draw. Certainly talent is a factor, although the child who is gifted in language concepts may have a great deal of difficulty in gross motor skills. Osman points out that recognizing challenges early can eliminate a lot of problems later. In addition, an authentic partnership between parents and teacher becomes supportive of the child.

When a developmental difference is perceived as a “problem”, it becomes a negative mindset that affects both the approach and the outcome. Parents may feel guilty, overwhelmed, or angry. Some may feel responsible because they had similar issues when they were children. Siblings may feel abandoned because the “problem” child saps so much energy from the family, or siblings may have a concern that they may “catch” the problem. They may be teased by peers because their sibling is a lot of trouble, or they may feel guilty because they are successful. A healthy dynamic is that every member of the family understands and appreciates the contributions of every other member.

Osman makes recommendations that children need stability and routine in order to feel secure enough to do their best. In the area of discipline, she recommends anticipation and prevention rather than criticism and punishment. It’s incredibly more effective to anticipate that a child will have a low sugar level just before lunch, and have a late snack before placing a child in a challenging social situation on the playground. We can anticipate a boring wait at the doctor’s office and bring fun things to do rather than produce a constant string of “don’t's” and “no’s”.

Creativity in figuring another approach on how to learn a skill, and being patient as the child tries and fails and tries again can be wonderfully affirming for our children. Unpleasantness in the child’s social situations can be as difficult for children as they are for us as adults. Empathy from adults for that pain is more useful than blame. Talking through how to be a friend, how not to punch Johnny’s lights out, or inviting Susie for a play date keeps you connected in that precious relationship with your child.