Monday, September 12, 2011

Don't Let a Block(ed) Parent Drive the Bus

Being a Block(ed) Parent:
A book on Mediating Learning and Blocking
by 5minutemom
illustrated by: M* Will3ms
(with apologies to M* Will3ms and his fabulous book "D*n't Let the Pig3*n Drive the Bus!"
from where the illustrations have been taken from. Without permission.
I hope that's ok,
Maybe your next book can be called, "Don't let the blogger take photos of the bird".
Has kind of a best-seller ring to it, don't ya think?)

Dedicated to:
Parents everywhere who deal with a blocking attitude when instructing your child
to children everywhere who deal with parents who get blocked from your blocking attitude

This book is great!
I loved it and it changed my life.
Pretend to read this book with a British accent. It will add to the humour.
-anonymous important expert-like person

This book is about working with your children when they have a Blocking Attitude. An attitude that clearly suggests that they aren't interested in learning.
Mediated Learning techniques can help you and your child move from a Blocked Attitude to an Attitude that is willing and ready to learn.
Often times, we, the parent, throw our hands in the air and say, "Let's just forget this right now!" when we encounter a blocking attitude.
tsk! tsk! That's not a very successful place to end things is it?
But what is to be done?
First, let's identify if you are, what I like to call, 'A Block(ed) Parent'.
No, I'm not referring to being a safe house for kids who are lost. I am referring to your attitude when you come up against a challenge.
A challenge that has your child saying to you, "This is dull (stupid, moronic-- or for you classical reader families--This is extremely tedious and non-sensical)"
How you RESPOND makes all the difference.
Let us begin our journey and discover if you are a Block(ed) Parent.
CHAPTER ONE: Have you done your math question yet?
The parent asks how math is going and the child grunts, puts down his pencil and mumbles something that closely resembles a noisy muffler on a car.
Parent asks, "What's wrong?"
They say,"I hate this. Why do we have to do math anyway? I want to go outside."
CHAPTER 2: Begging is what dogs do
Parent: Come on! Let's give it a go. None of this attitude today. Please try again.
Child: crosses arms and looks indifferent
Parent: Please.

CHAPTER 3: Two Can Play This Game
Parent (crossing arms and glaring): Son, you need to finish these questions before you go outside. Now, read the question out loud and we'll go from there.
Child feigns deafness.
CHAPTER 4: Motivational Techniques in a Nagging Form
Parent: Come on! I know you can do this! It wasn't that hard last week, so pull up the boot straps and get to work. We still have geography and history to cover.
CHAPTER 5: Desperate Homeschool Mom
Parent sinks to the low blow of bribing child to do work.

CHAPTER 6: Perhaps Increasing the Volume Will Help
Parent, losing their own self-regulation, starts to take out their frustration about the situation on the child (in a loud, yelling-ish tone): What's the big deal? Why can't you just do this so we can get on to geography!!!

CHAPTER 7: The Future Looks Bleak

Parent sees no hope for the situation and starts to imagine the worst possible future, doubting her own sanity and questioning if she can possibly homeschool for another day.
Thoughts of her child ending up unemployed and living at home when they are 35 flit across their mind.

CHAPTER 8: Meltdown
The parent loses it.

CHAPTER 9: Guilt sets in

Child is forgotten by parent. Parent starts to madly clean her house in order to deal with her high level of frustration over her child's lack of interest in math.
Parent is convinced that she is crazy for homeschooling and starts to question her sanity on a deeper level

I was once a parent like that.
I had meltdowns over math questions that went no where.
And if you have acted like that crazy ol' bird in the book, start over.
Here's how you get your chid to UNblock.



Ask questions.
In particular, ask Process Questions.
As you ask questions, watch to see which criteria is coming up.
Is your child afraid of a challenge? Do they need to self-regulate and focus?
Is it competence? Can you provide an optimistic alternative?
Can the problem being broken down into smaller pieces?
Is it lacking meaning for your child? Can you bridge to a past experience that relates to this one?

As you listen to your child, you will start to see where they are blocked in their learning.

Here's a tip.
Go back to their last success in this particular subject. Show them what they have done and how they can build on their last success with this challenge. Be willing to offer an optimistic alternative.
Most importantly, leave them in a place of success.

But whatever you do,
Don't Lose Your Cool and Become a Block(ed) Parent!


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