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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Don't underestimate your child's abilities...

The one advice I always give to new clients' parents is to not underestimate their child's abilities. I can't say how many times I've heard "oh my child can't do that" or "my child's not ready for that" or "are you sure my child's ready for that?". And my comment back is almost always "yes, he/she is ready". Often the reason why a child cannot perform a particular skill or display a desired behavior is due to fact that they have not ever performed it. For example, parents will often just dress their child because it's easier and quicker. Or perhaps they will choose not bring their child to the store because of behaviors. Therefore, how do parents know if their child can do it. And more importantly, if the child does not perform the skill or practice the desired behavior they are not learning. In addition, I am all for "pushing the envelope". Once I see progress in a certain skill or behavior I'm all for moving past the next step. For instance, if I see a child is able to put together a 10 piece puzzle with ease, I will move past the 20 piece and go straight to the 40 piece. The child will most likely have a harder time, but that's good because you're building those skills. And it will be an opportunity to work on other skills such as patience, concentrating, asking for help, etc... But note that even though I am advocating "pushing the envelope" it is important to work within your child's capabilities and strengths.

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