When facing challenging experiences, whether it is when your child first learns to read, when she memorizes her time tables or when she is learning to play a new instrument, some children give up by saying: “I can’t do it – it is too hard”.
Often times our response as parents is: “Of course you can do it, you are smart and if you put in some effort you can surely do it.” Most of the time the child continues to be reluctant to put more effort toward that task. Using that rationale with a child generally does not work because we can’t control or persuade another person to do what we would like them to do. It is only in our control to ask questions that will empower that person or child and thus lead them to make their own decisions.
When a child says, “I can’t read” or “It is to hard for me” I would ask her the following questions:
1) Would you like to read if reading was easier for you? If yes, why? What makes you want to read/ what is so great about reading?
2) When you say, “I can’t do it” you are making a choice to give up something good, you can make another choice and decide that you are going to persist until you get it. What kind of person would you like to be the former or the latter?
3) What do you need to make reading easier (from me, from yourself etc…)?
These questions will empower your child and will boost her motivation to pursue whatever her goal is in spite of some bumps along the way.