Learning difficulties are not just a challenge for kids – they can be challenging for parents, too. Is there anything you can do to help your child succeed in school? Here are some strategies for concerned parents for helping their children with learning difficulties do well in school.
1. Don’t look for a cure
As a parent, it may be tempting to try and make the learning difficulty “go away.” While there are things you can do to minimize your child’s struggles, the fact that he or she has a learning difficulty is not going to go away. This is all the more reason to learn coping strategies. Your child needs to be taught how to work with his or her disability, not ignore it.
2. Think beyond school
When you help your child with homework, read books with him or her, and generally engage your child to help his or her learning, you are setting your child up for success beyond school. Children who understand their difficulty and have learned how to confront and deal with it may be more likely to succeed than those children who see themselves as helpless victims of an unfair challenge.
3. Be honest
Well-intentioned parents may try to keep a child’s learning difficulties secret. After all, they don’t want their child to be “labeled,” or they may want to avoid the possibility that their child will use the difficulty as a crutch or excuse. However, some experts believe that keeping the learning difficulty secret may send a message of shame and inadequacy. It’s said that the best approach is to honestly accept the difficulty, face it, and help your child understand and accept it also.
4. The whole person
You can help your child overcome his or her learning difficulties by providing the healthiest lifestyle possible. In fact, experts have pointed out the direct impact that diet and exercise can have on a child’s developing brain. So look into giving your family whole, organic foods, providing playtime and exercise, and practicing the principles of fitness and health.
5. Limit screen time
There have been multiple studies showing the negative effect on the brain that excessive exposure to screen-based media (television, computer screens, etc.) can have. Limiting the time your child spends watching television, DVDs, YouTube, or playing computer games helps get his or her brain in the mode to learn.