Confessions of a Sloth Mom

Call me Sloth Mom.

Tiger Momdom requires energy  I'd rather devote to celebrity magazines and fruitless attempts to vanquish my mommy tummy. However, like most parents I hope to raise a "successful child" who will be a shining example of my great choices.  I just don't want to threaten to behead our son's Transformer figures if he doesn't study hard and pursuit worthy goals.

Consequently, I was thrilled when Nurturing Wisdom volunteered to present a program on "Developing Persistence in Young Learners."  Now I have a roadmap for nurturing our son's ability to persist sans threats of action figure genocide.

Here's what this Sloth Mom is going to work on:

.  Setting mutually agreed upon goals, age appropriate goals.  If the goal is improved reading, let your child chose the books to read.  In our house, e.g., our animal loving son is reading a National Geographic series on nature's creepier creatures. 

.  Nurturing a successful problem solver, not just a successful test taker.  Gently probe when your child struggles. Ask how the child understood the assignment, ask if they could use a different approach, guide them to think through the steps of a problem.  With younger children, this may require more nudging, but the goal is to nurture a child who can develop a process for solving problems...not just getting the right answer.

.  Accepting  that learning persistence happens when the child values the outcome.  Sure, in every life there is drudgery which needs to be slogged through, but for kids learning how to be persistent in playing a video game is a tool which can be applied to learning how to be persistent in studying for the SATS. 

.  Practicing reducing your own addiction to praise.  I'm the one who has to practice not praising every little thing our son does.  I need to understand that there is a difference between encouraging him to chose to stick with a task, and my Slothful Mom praising of every action.  Unless I'm going to provide him with lifetime employment, I'm sending him into the world expecting praise for just showing up. 

This Sloth Mom sees some challenging, thoughtful work ahead---less for our son and more for me.  No more dictating all goals and giving verbal gold stars.  Much more collaboration, encouraging progress and not expecting perfection.  Finally, I'll remind myself of what Olympic skater Michelle Kwan said:  "Success is not how many times you fall,  it is how many times you get back up."  If our son goes into his adulthood knowing that he can get himself back up, I'll be able to lie on a beach sipping margaritas confident my parenting job was well done. 

Our thanks to our presenters Nurturing Wisdom  providing in-home tutoring seven days a week to over 300 Chicago area students ranging from elementary through high school students in academic and study related skills.  Please check out Nurturing Wisdom's website:   Or, contact NW directly at 312 260 7945.

Posted on October 23, 2011 at 10:57 AM