How to deal with a difficult child
A “difficult” child is often that way for a reason or multiple reasons. The trick as a parent and educator is to uncover why. Then you identify the best way to reach that child so he or she learns and enjoys it. Sounds easy, right? Not always. Trial and error; talking with other parents, teachers, and educational, medical, and psychological experts; persistence; and delegating teaching responsibilities are what will help you find out what will be of the most help in educating your child.
- Trial and Error – If something isn’t working with your child, try something else. Watch for signs of frustration, boredom, or other negative behaviors during school time that indicate your child is unhappy with the current arrangement. Trial and error requires research, a significant amount of time and preparation, and investment in the idea that there is a way to successfully teach your child, even though it may be hard to see. For example, you might let your child jump up and down stairs, shouting out a letter for every stair to complete his spelling test instead of making him write the words out on paper at a desk.
- Talking with Others – Online forums for homeschooling, homeschooling blogs, websites of companies that sell homeschool curriculum, your local public or private school, psychologists, counselors, social workers, pediatricians, experienced teachers and tutors, other homeschool parents. . .The possibilities for finding someone to share your child’s situation with and receiving some helpful advice are many. Consult with as many people as necessary to find ideas that will help you reach and engage your child in academic work.
- Persistence – Remember to capitalize on your student’s strengths as you teach him. Teach the alphabet while letting your child practice writing letters in sand if she’s a tactile, movement-oriented learner. If that doesn’t work, maybe pointing out letters on signs when you’re out running errands will stick. Keep trying different ways to teach your child. Don’t give up.
- Delegate Teaching Responsibilities – If you find that you are clashing with your child over some subjects, remember you don’t necessarily have to do the teaching. Online courses with private or public schools in specific subjects, private tutors, another family member or friend, co-ops and homeschooling centers that offer classes, or self-study may be good options if you find that your child clicks better with another type of instruction or instructor.
Do you homeschool a difficult child? Share with us what you have tried and if it has worked for you or not.