Friday, June 27, 2014
All You Have To Do Is Try
That's what I find myself telling Aiden more and more these days.
Aiden's a perfectionist. And he's also used to things being fairly easy for him, particularly in terms of school work. Until this point, learning letter-sound recognition, learning sight words, and learning to sound out other words have come fairly easy for him. Until this point, reading has been fairly easy to him. And fun for him.
But now that he's learning how to read "harder" words -- and it's not coming to him as fast as he'd like -- he's getting frustrated. Same goes with math concepts. Now that he's being encouraged to explore more difficult math concepts, he gets frustrated when he doesn't "get it" right away. Same goes with tying his shoelaces. If it doesn't come out nicely tied the first time he attempts to do it, he gets frustrated. Eventually, he ties it, but it's usually after a mini meltdown that stems from his frustration.
Here's the thing: I'm okay with Aiden being frustrated over things. It's a good life lesson, because sometimes things aren't going to come as easily as we would like them to come... but we gotta keep going in order to get the outcome that we want. (Granted, I may have to check myself and check my own level of frustration when things get like that, but the end result -- and the celebration -- is totally worth it. To me anyway.)
And check this: I'm less concerned with Aiden reading harder words right now or understanding more difficult math concepts. Or tying his shoelaces perfectly. He'll learn them eventually, in due time, and at his own pace. But, what I am concerned with is him staying in the trenches, trying and failing and then trying some more. Learning how to do his best. Recognizing when he's not doing his best. Learning how to do his best even when he doesn't like something. Or doesn't want to do something. Being persistent and resilient and showing perseverance. Having grit.
Because, in this world, nothing will take the place of persistence. And teaching Aiden this life lesson doesn't start when he's an adult and gets a rejection letter from, say, a job that he applies for. It starts now. At age six. With the "smaller" things in life.
I've made many mistakes in my life, but one thing I've learned for sure is to be persistent and resilient. And, if I don't teach Aiden anything else, I'll teach him the importance of those two things.