Lesson 49: Say this! even if the child is NOT doing well




Imagine if your performances were not well, your boss was not very happy and said, “Are these all you can do? Can’t you do better?” How would you feel?

Imagine if you were a secondary school student, you tried hard but your results were not so good, your mum said, “Can’t you be smarter?” How would you feel?

Imagine if you were 7 year old, you messed up the table while you were eating, your mum said, “Can’t you eat properly?” How would you feel?

Imagine if you were 3 year old, you spilled the water onto the floor, your mum said, “Can’t you be more careful?” How would you feel?

Being a parent or a teacher, we do hope the children can do well. Former comedian Phyllis Diller said, “I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford.” When I spoke to the parents, I realized that they have the same expectation to their children, which is hoping them to do better. Dan’s mother was one of them.

Dan, 11 year old, a very active athlete which mastered almost every sport, but did terribly in his studies. Dan’s mother sent him to a lot of tuition and at the same time supervised his revision. It was tough for a career woman to take care of her own work and her kid’s homework. Hence she hoped to see a better result.

However, regardless of how much efforts Dan had putted in, his results were still sloping down the hill. From hope to disappointment, this frustrating mother almost went mad and said, “Can’t you score better? It is still so bad!”

If you were Dan, how would you think?

“Yea, I can’t score well! I am that bad!” The child may indignantly think that way.

Try to think from another perspective, if the same thing happened to you who are an adult, how would you think? The matter that you had spent all your efforts was not satisfactory enough, furthermore your efforts was being questioned. Would you feel so happy, run to that person and give him a big hug? Would you be so appreciative and said, “You are so fantastic! Yes, I am not doing well! You understand me so well!” Would you respond in such a way?

It will be the same for the child. Pouring water, writing or studying, it may be their best effort even if it is a very small matter. 

Guide a person using the language of love instead of the language of aggressiveness (Joshua Jung). Viewing from the point of an adult, if your performances were not well, your boss was very unsatisfied and said, “Even though the results were not good, you had tried your best. Let us think of other way to do it.” Would you feel better? I bet you will work harder for it.

It is the same when you are dealing with children.

If you were a 3 year old, you spilled the water and messed up the place, your mother said, “Not bad, you are trying to pour the water!” How would you feel?

If you were 7 year old, you messed up the table when you were eating, your mother said, “It’s ok. The table is messed up but you are eating carefully.” How would you feel?

If you were secondary school student, you worked so hard but you did not score well, your mother said, “You had been working hard for the past one month, if you continue your effort, I’m sure that you can score better!” How would you feel?

When the child is not doing well, you must still “speak kindly”!
Speaking kindly to the child, is a “recognition”!
Speaking kindly to the child, means you recognize that “he is trying”.
Speaking kindly to the child, means you recognize his efforts.
Speaking kindly to the child, also means that you encourage the child to continue his efforts!



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