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Learn to take risks with your child's learning...

As we approach the end of 2021 which I’m sure will be a memorable one for most, I am pressed to look at how the year has gone and specifically for this read, I wanted to write about the ‘risks we have taken throughout the year when it comes to our own child’s learning and development?’

Being a parent and an English teacher, I am thankful that I do have the skills to be able to teach and create curriculums and program designs that can be specifically tailored to a child’s learning needs. I thought to myself, how would I go about applying some of my teaching qualities to my own son who had speech delay?

It took a huge storm to pass on through my life and rattle the very cage of my heart to understand what methodologies or routes I should take in overcoming this obstacle. It also prompted me for the first time ever in taking a risk with my own son’s learning and development. It was a huge hurdle for me to work out in terms of how I could best help my son as being a first-time parent, I still felt so new to the role of being a mother.

The real change point occurred when I knew I had to take a risk of some sort especially for my son who needed help. He needed a great deal of attention and having the speech therapy wait list starting at 6 months here in Melbourne, I just couldn’t wait or leave anything to chance and instead, took a risk and taught him communication strategies myself.

It may sound like a no brainer for other Teachers who are also mothers or caregivers to do the same, but it also took other sacrifices in the making including, slowing down on the momentum of my tutoring business, leaving a full-time career behind, and going part time as well as preparing myself mentally in being able to deliver the support and help that my son needed.

We all have taken risks to some extent in our lives, and I really wanted to address the need to take risk with your own child’s learning too. You are their favourite person to be around, you are their inspiration, and in some cases all they have ever known. Regardless of how non-qualified or ill-equipped you may feel in being able to help them, the truth is, you are the ‘best help’. You are taking a risk today and providing them better opportunities. This may in fact be one of the best things that you could do.

You could be looking at investing in additional tutoring services or mentor groups outside of school time. You may in fact be choosing to home-school for the first time ever or doing a hybrid of both home-school and school. Whatever it is, these risks won’t go unnoticed because they are all working towards either a win or an investment in better learning what works and what doesn’t for your child.

An awesome quote that redefines the benefits of risk taking four our children read: ‘Yes, risk-taking is inherently failure prone. Otherwise, it would be called 'sure-thing-taking.” And this one, “99 percent of success is built on failure."

If I didn’t take the risk in becoming the teacher slash speech therapist for my son, then what would have occurred during the time instead? If I had waited on the waitlist for a speech therapist , would I have been as proactive as I have been if I knew I was getting help? The truth is, we all have the capability in navigating our children in a direction that aligns with who they are. Essentially, we have the time and opportunity to risk and see if things will work, if home-schooling will work, or if you can also help your child speak with confidence.

So how can we go about being confident in taking risks for our children’s overall learning and development? Well, it all starts with the inner desire and wanting from ‘you.’ In other words, ‘you’ have to want the change and betterment for your child to succeed; so much that you are willing to get your hands dirty and be on the tools to do it. It may feel like a safer route to apply for government funding or hire professional help to support you and evidently help you child, but I want to encourage you in this very moment, what if you could be that help. Why not? Why do we let ourselves think that we won’t be able to handle things? Are we too busy to quieten our minds and hearts to take consideration?

I know how some of you may feel. I used to be the career obsessed, self-driven woman who really valued her work and wanted to reach the top. Albeit, what pulled me back for a bit was the unconditional care that I had for my son and looking at what he needed the most. A mother’s calling also involves sacrifice and compromises. I had to make a choice and worked out a way that worked for my family and more importantly would work in favour of my son’s learning and development goals.

When I made the risk of helping my son to talk, it ended up being a huge win because, the months that passed showed results that I hadn’t seen before. I started reading up on books and learned what mindful parenting was and how to go about it. The strategies that followed afterwards helped me identify my true calling in fully embracing a “risk that was well worth it.”

I hope this encourages you because I have done it and I can confidently say, I’m so thankful that I took a risk and tried helping my son in a different and unique way. I was so eager to do clinical intervention and listen to the voices of doctors and professionals, but something deep inside of me said “Cass you can do it…you can help your son learn and achieve his development goals.”

Moments like this don’t come to you without a reason or an objective but what I learnt from taking risks is that if we choose to live in safety and ease and ignore the stop signs that require our attention, especially when it’s about our own children, then what hope or what are we allowing to grow wild and later on become an even bigger mountain to climb? Moments are passing fleetingly so we must act now and be serious about our decisions as parents and caregivers.

Be confident in your decisions, establish your steps and work out which doors can be walked through, and which ones can’t. Find ease in your goals and dreams for your children because you are not far away from figuring out how to best tackle them yourself. You are learning that you child needs you and that you can be their support and mentor, you can even be their best friend.

You are their help. You are their hope and their light. Take the risk today and see how you will either win or grow in wisdom.

Share in the comments below if you are ready to take the risk and do what’s best for your child ‘s learning and development…

Until next time, keep being the light in your child’s life.


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