“That’s MY life” shouted a lot of you after reading last week’s brief story of a mom.
Well that’s what many of you told me in your emails. You also said you were happy knowing you are not alone. Others have trodden your path already. And many more will do so too.
And as promised I’m going to reveal some of the success strategies of this mom. In actual fact there is 1 major attribute running through those successes . . .
What was the #1 thing which took this boy from pre-school fighting to a valued, award winning, 10 year old school boy?
Drum roll please . . .
His mom’s attitude.
She never settled. She never had low expectations. She expected him to achieve, just like you would any child. The Asperger’s label didn’t matter.
He was a really smart kid. So for her to assume he wouldn’t achieve because of Asperger’s would have been wrong. She didn’t. But sadly many parents do.
Their motives are generally good. They’re trying to “protect” their child or themselves, from failure and upset. So it’s entirely understandable, but just plain wrong. It sends out an incorrect message, which can program your child’s behaviour . . .
“Mom and dad don’t think I can do much. So guess what I won’t . . .”
Clever sounding psychologists would call it a self fulfilling prophecy. In fact one famous study in the 1960’s by Harvard professor Dr. Robert Rosenthal found just that.
He randomly assigned children in a class as “high achievers”. Kids whose IQ would grow rapidly over the year.
This was not based on any ACTUAL facts about these kids, it was purely random. Yet by year end these kids did increase their IQ much more than the others.
This was put down the teacher’s expectations of them being so much higher. Leading to a self fulfilling prophecy.
Now I’m not suggesting it’s as simple as attitude. It takes a lot of work too. Often gruelling and exhausting work. But the results will pay off. Your child has so many great skills locked inside them. Your job is to unlock them.
So back to last week’s story again and the hard wortk of this particular mom:
When the boy had problems with words, his mom helped him find a strategy around it.
He used to eat little except white bread and rice. But through mom’s perseverance he’ll now eat pizza, green veggies, chicken, guacamole and more.
Mom held an expectation he would be social. Yet she also didn’t over whelm and push him too much (a balancing act). He now has a couple of good friends.
The self fulfilling prophecy runs through every section of your child’s life. It’s not just about you as their parent. Although that’s significant.
It’s the expectations of grandparents . .. teachers . .. siblings . . . school colleagues . . . sports coaches and more.
Wherever and whenever you need to – educate these people. Let them know your child needs normal expectations to thrive.
As Sam Walton (founder of Walmart) once said:
“High expectations are the key to everything”
So keep on expecting,