Hello there, its nice to have you here. Well I’m writing this to you at the early hours of a Saturday morning. My son and husband are still asleep so I have intentionally snuck away because I wanted to be here with you. I wanted to openly share about what can be done in the learning and development space with your child or children. So grab a cup of tea and let’s get right into it.
This topic today is important because I recently became incredibly overwhelmed and emotional with my own child’s learning and development journey. If you’re a parent or caregiver reading in, you would know what it’s like to feel absolutely defeated or at times feel that you aren’t in control with your child’s learning stages at all. I’m here to tell you, it’s 100% okay to feel like this. Parenting is not easy so give yourself a break. I just want to set the scene of what challenges you may be facing currently that have made you to feel in such a state…
I’ll go first. My son who is 2.4 months years of age is currently on on a speech delay journey. He was assessed at 20 months by doctors who advised that we we needed to do early intervention within the system. That meaning, I would have had to diagnose him with disability in order to gain funding and support.
I eventually didn’t go down this route instead tried parental early intervention myself to see if I could change the narrative. I did this also because he was still very young and I felt in my heart of hearts that change could still occur. So I embraced and became the speech therapist, the teacher, the nurturer to my own son in order to help him. It also required some level of sacrifice which meant leaving my corporate career behind and becoming a stay at home mum. I really felt that I could do it so I did.
Fast forward 4 months since I left a full-time role to being more intentional with my son’s learning and development, we have overcome so many obstacles including his ability to say 100’s of words today. From barely babbling 5 months ago to pronouncing words is a miracle in itself. Nothing a praying and patient parent can’t do right?
However, in the last week, I started to feel that we weren’t making progress…that maybe I should go back to the doctors and go down the diagnosis route and fall under their instruction. So, at this point, I just want to say that the steps and strategies I had taken up to this point were all successful but I didn’t know why I was personally feeling defeated?
That’s why it’s important that regardless of your journey with your child’s learning and development, whatever it may be, all you need to know is that you know what matters and what needs the most attention. In doing so, you can apply the same strategies that I am about to spill with your own journey with your child.
What got me back on my feet and focused again even when I was in this state was looking at my current systems and cross-checking progress timelines of where we used to be, to where we are now. Paying attention to the ever-slightest changes that you may see or observe and tracking how that is going is important. I encourage you right now to have a notepad or journal that is filled with just dates and dot points of what occurs weekly or fortnightly with your child.
Trust me, this will be a game changer and will serve to rescue you in times of feeling doubtful, defeated and unsure in your walk with your child’s learning and development.
Here are my top 3 strategies that will remind you that you are a “winning” parent. You are your child’s favourite teacher so encourage yourself today!
1. Keep a log book
Keeping a log book that has the dates on the left and dot points on the right of what occurred on that day that are aligned with your learning objectives are paramount. Children are evolving everyday, week and month. What happened last month compared to this month is completely different especially when you are proactively invested in their learning.
Or if you are just starting out and wanting to get involved, start a journal of what is currently occurring. It could be that you are wanting to increase their interest in the learning space and wanting to decrease their gaming or screen time. Therefore your first entry would be the date plus the amount of hours your child spent on gaming/screen time.
That’s important because it will act as a marker in the following months when you document the time spent again. If there is a decrease, then that’s a parent “win.” That’s the goal of a log book. It’s your personal tracker. Plus, it will serve to help you when you suddenly think nothing is happening. Fear and doubt seem to always know how to enter our minds even when we are strong willed and determined. I know this first hand as I have experienced what it’s like to feel empowered one week to feeling as though “I can’t do this anymore” the following week.
So here is a sneak peak of the log book I use with my son and what has happened within a 3 month time span. It’s only high level and not my complete weekly log but enough to give you an idea of just how powerful log books are. Here are some of my notes that I have tracked for my son. As you can clearly see, there is progress. I feel a sense of gratefulness to even see these results. That is why you need a tracker in your life. A simple table drawn out on paper or in a notebook is all you need.
The best part is that the notes only need to make sense to you. You can be as detailed or as brief as you want.
Let me know how you go with this and start taking notes of your child’ learning and development today!
2. Read parent books:
I’m all for following real stories and journeys on social media but nothing compares to reading an actual published book that is associated with your child’s learning needs. I have come to love investing in parent books. Some of my favourite books about parenting are listed below. If you follow the link, you can purchase it right now on Amazon. Here they are.
2. Time to talk
And for organisation and motivation: I’d highly recommend
These books have really empowered and strengthened me in how I can support and guide my child. I just want to also say, don’t get caught up in the homeschooling confusion. My version of homeschooling is honestly parent and child relationships that are centred around strengthening and building up their strengths whilst nurturing their weaknesses. If that’s what you are wanting to achieve and are al about, then that’s what it is! Go you Parent!
Homeschooling can occur and should occur before and after school. My son attends Early learning and has fabulous educators. Complimenting his learning at school are my own methods of learning. So don’t think that you’re not cut out for homeschooling. You are! It should be normalised as a way that parents can be more involved in the home with their child.
So, the action point to take away from this is; research and find a good book that you will read that is aligned to the teaching goals you have for your child. In the book “Time to talk” I learnt so much about the functions of the ear and the acquisition of speech. It was really interesting to understand and learn in a non clinical or complicated way.
The writer really made it easy for everyday parents to understand these concepts. A little pro-tip for you is, purchase audio books if you can. I listen to these books and am able to read them so much faster as being a busy parent, it’s almost impossible to get down time to read a book. Try it for yourself and see how you go. I currently use the apple Book store app on my iPhone and am in love with the ease of listening in whilst I’m cooking and cleaning.
3. Protect and nurture your mindset
This tip is super important because we can sometimes feel so lost in all of the processes and goals we have set that we may lose ourselves at times. For me, the only thing that has really comforted and helped me was prayer. Praying has encouraged me and strengthened me in so many ways. I can’t imagine a life without prayer. The peace that surpasses all understanding is in those moments of prayer so try and remember that prayer is a weapon that you can use to combat any challenges.
Have an accountability partner: This is really powerful and such a motivator. I have an accountability friend who is also passionate and motivated to help her children succeed too. Her focus points are different to mind however they compliment one another. She’s able to provide ideas on how to run a more routine and organised home and also share little wins and struggles that she’s going through and how she overcame them with me. In turn, I am able to offer the same. It brings comfort knowing that I have another parent who is just as focused on their children and it makes me feel even more assured in what I am doing.
So what needs to happen from this point is, try searching your inner circle or outer circle in who is an inspiring parent to you. It might be someone in the workplace or someone in your cultural community who loves parenting or someone who you find to be really organised and able to time manage their schedule well. Get in contact with them and start nurturing that relationship. Your energy is important and will increase when you are around like-minded parents.
To sum up, I hope these strategies that I have shared will help you in some way. They have definitely helped me. If you have any other ideas or strategies that have worked for you, comment below. We would love to hear about them.
Until next time, keep shining that bright light of yours.
Signing off, a busy parent who won’t give up for their child.