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👩‍👦"Your Child Sees Different From You"

(6 Minute Read) So many parents forget that their kids brain isn't wired like theirs!

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One of the weirdest phenomena that I am constantly reminded of is that my students don't see or process things the same way I do. I say this because, for instance, one of my students is 15 years old, and we are going over math problems involving multiplication, addition, and parentheses. You know, PEMDAS. I wrote it down on top of the paper, and he told me, 'Oh yeah, I remember doing this when it was time to start doing the problems.' The speed and rate at which he was doing it just wasn't on par with mine.

Of course, I remember going to school, and they literally made us drill down, doing 100 of these in one sitting, or all this extra stuff. Because I heard him say, 'Oh, I've done this before.’ I thought this is going to be easy. We'll get through this quick. And man, I forgot you shouldn't assume, as you know, the saying goes. We pretty much spent the whole two hours just working on these types of problems, and the biggest issue from it all was that I compared myself to him, which is completely unfair.

One of the biggest things I hate is assumptions and comparisons. And I literally did it to my own student. Have you ever wanted to try something or were just doing something, and someone tries to help you, but it starts sounding like they're belittling you? They keep on saying, 'Oh, if I did it, I would have done it way quicker,' or 'Wow, I never had trouble with this before. I can't believe you're having trouble with this.' Gladly, I didn't say any of those things to my students. But what was going through my mind was just a little frustration building up for no reason. But before we continue this conversation, go support the sponsor we love today, here’s a quick ad for them.

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I think most of us have heard the same: 'Comparison is the thief of joy.' And let me tell you, that saying was so true for me yesterday. I say this because my student, by the end of it, felt confident. He felt like, 'Wow, it actually gets easier.' He was doing it by himself at the end and didn't need my help. If you looked at the end result, it looks like we had a successful session. But in my head, when I was comparing, I couldn't even focus on that.

My comparison stole all the achievements my student was hitting because all I could focus on was, 'Oh, he keeps getting distracted.' 'Oh, why isn't he going fast?' 'He literally just did one super fast, what's slowing him down?' 'Oh, he's not using PEMDAS.' 'Oh, he's getting upset with me when he's not listening to instructions.' And let me tell you, I understand your frustration with your child when they want to get bossy, but simply I have to remember that every single person, every single child, every single student I work with thinks different from, and I have to meet them where they're at.

Alright, let's break the fourth wall for a sec. Imagine it's just you and me, and if I wrote this article preaching about how to be a perfect parent, listing all the things you should do, and then started comparing you to myself, saying, 'Oh, I'm so great because I do this and that,' expecting you to achieve the same perfection, I feel like most of you would probably stop reading and check out.

However, if I simply shared my own real-life situations, saying, 'This is what has helped me get through this and what has worked,' and then related it back to you, I believe it would be a much more powerful article and could be very helpful. So, I'm still breaking the fourth wall, and I hope I haven't just compared, but please forgive me if I did. I say this because if I wouldn't like someone to compare themselves to me, and if you're a person who doesn't like being compared and made to feel belittled, I would ask you: Do you think your child would like to be compared to and hear their parents say, 'Oh, I never went through that,' or 'You need to do this, I was such a great kid'?

*Please give a gentle round of applause too…*

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By: Leslie Hannans

This is Parenting: Demystifying parenthood is a fresh, new take on an old tradition, Parenting! For centuries, parents have engaged in a long tradition of parenting, based on how we learned. But, have we questioned our parenting techniques? Have we thought critically about what our actions can do to harm our children? This is exactly what This Is Parenting explores. We will dive into behavior modification, origins of modern parenting, skill acquisition, and more!

The daily reminder I get working with my students constantly is that I can't compare them to myself. And when you're working with your child, whether it's doing homework, helping them with chores, or getting them ready for a certain place, this is just a friendly reminder that they don't think like you. They probably don't see how important it is to get something done, or getting dressed to go somewhere you need to be.

This applies to beneficial habits like brushing teeth or eating greens. What I do know that works is when you meet them where they're at, remembering that they don't have the same brain as you and can't see what you're thinking about. But try to empathize, remember how you felt when learning a new skill.

An example I love is when I'm learning something new from a mentor or teacher, and they see me struggling. Instead of comparison, they might say something like, 'I just noticed that this isn't clicking as well. Is there anything I can help with?' You can apply this approach to anything—chores, homework, or any task. If you want more examples of questions to ask that could replace using comparison, let me know, and I will try to provide some examples for you next week. Thank you.

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