Encourage your children always. When they’re little, as they get older and as they are teenagers, in whatever they’re doing, help them to identify what they really want to do and when you nurture a supportive, encouraging environment there’s more chance they’ll believe they can achieve whatever it is they want to. Just because a child isn’t academically gifted doesn’t mean they don’t have other talents that are as valuable and needed. There are many styles of learning and we all have our preferences. They are not even consciously chosen, just the way we’re wired. I learnt about learning styles when I did my nlp course and I realized that my youngest son who was labelled with dyslexia and adhd (also with Asperger’s syndrome) was struggling with learning to read and write because he was a kinaesthetic learner (Using the body). Often athletes, sports people and creative, artistic types who are good using their hands or bodies are kinaesthetic learners and struggle with learning the ‘traditional’ talk and chalk way. Talk and chalk (i.e. teaching by talking and children listening and writing) still the predominant way of teaching. Teacher standing at front of class speaking and writing on board or flipchart, meaning students need to learn through visual and auditory means. This is difficult for some people, they learn better through other methods, doing, hands on experiences.
Here’s an on line test to do to find out your ‘learning style’ :- http://www.renewal.ca/nlp11.htm
Have Enthusiasm for what they are doing, even when you may not be so convinced it’s a really good idea or may not work very well! If they’ve come up with an idea and are willing to share it, be positive about it first. Give them credit for at least thinking about it and coming up with something before adding any concerns you might have. Of course, we always want our children to be safe and want to protect them, though sometimes we wrap them in cotton wool a bit too much and see things that can go wrong and focus on them, instead of what can go right and letting our children experience things for themselves. They learn more from experiencing for themselves, not from what we tell them. When they have a ‘great’ idea (even if it’s only great to them) share in their enthusiasm. The word comes from En theos, in God ness! Surely that’s a good thing!