For the third time in one month Mr. Michael’s had come to talk to me about Little Ms. Sunshine. Apparently Sunshine was having a hard time completing the writing assignment.
We had been working on personal narrative writing for some time and, in my opinion, she was doing fabulous. But that morning I got some interesting news; Sunshine was beginning to hate writing.
As the father was telling me this, red flags went up instantly. I started talking to myself and thought,”This could be the moment where I ruin this child’s writing career!”
Luckily, I instantly remembered my secret weapon.
As the dad was talking, I abruptly interrupted him and said, “For the next week Little Ms. Sunshine doesn’t have to write anything. She is on a writing moratorium.”
He cocked his head, and he squinted his eyes, and looked me right in the face and said in a whisper, “Say that again.”
I told him again, and he said, “WOW! Thank you. You don’t know how much that means to me.”
In that moment I gave her something that often times we don’t give children.
We don’t give them room to take a break, to breathe, and to let it go.
As the adult, I know a week is not forever. And if I want her to experience the joy of writing. I have to allow her this moment of taking off any perceived pressure.
If your child is experiencing resistance to the work that you are asking them to do- I say tell them they don’t have to do it. Right in the middle of the resistance you will free your child in ways that you have never imagined. And, truthfully, you will free yourself from being the work police.
True learning will never come if your child starts to resist the very thing you want them to find personal pleasure in.
Like Johnny Cochran and the glove, each child has their own glove that fits seamlessly for them, whether its reading, writing or any other subject. And if your child is resisting to a point of complete disdain, let it go.
In due time they will come back to that place and effortlessly digest all that you have to offer them concerning that subject.
In other words, they’ll come around. Little Ms. Sunshine certainly did!