Jane, my young 6 year-old friend, was admiring a beautiful, handcrafted gift presented to her mom. She remarked in amazement, “This person did her personal best!” Truly, the interesting and skillfully-created masterpiece was worthy of the praise. The child’s simple exclamation is also worthy. A life skill that will greatly contribute to her happiness, one that will develop amazement and awe of the beauty all around her, is that of acknowledging other’s successes. Jealousy and envy aren’t going to be fueled, but gratitude and appreciation, instead. “Personal Best” is just what it says; it has to be different for each of us.
Once we can see that our own responsibility is to do our personal best, we look for further education, learning, and skills to enhance what we already have going for us in our little corner of the world. In our homes we try to garner the best resources for our family’s personal success, growth and opportunities. We celebrate the progress, do what we can to remove impediments, and continue the process.
Learning disabilities present challenges, and we as parents do what we can to explore solutions. The searching takes work and focus, but it also takes a certain confidence in ourselves that we can make progress in figuring things out. The confidence keeps us going forward. I think most parents want to instill such confidence in their children, help them feel competent, and have positive expectations for all the good that life holds yet ahead.
I like this John Medina quote: Don’t say “You’re so smart” to a child because then she’ll think of her success or failure is due to some static ability over which she has no control. Instead say, “You worked really hard” which is a growth mindset that shows the child that they can control their outcomes.
Jane’s mother knows that. “Personal best” will be something talked about again and again while an understanding increases of how dynamic that concept is. Hoorah for that family, and yay for their example!
To help parents better understand the challenges their children with learning disabilities might face, so they can help them reach their personal best, Reading Horizons has created a Free E-Book titled: Learning Disabilities 101.