This parenting is hard work! These once small babies, they grow and change - and so do their needs and challenges. My own kids have had their share of struggles, both at home and at school. I started Reframe Parenting to help other parents have a smoother road, especially at school. It’s based on the simple idea that if we look at our kids with different lenses (I call them reframes!) - then we can see opportunities where there was exasperation, ideas where there were roadblocks.
The bottomline? Every kid (yours too!) is amazing and deserves to succeed.
But the reality is that sometimes life and school get in the way.
When our kids have a hard time, we as parents need to do a little more, stretch ourselves a bit, and get them moving on a smoother - and sometimes different - path. Looking at things differently gives us a peek into what’s hiding underneath our kids’ challenges - and our reactions to them too.
Top 4 Reframes to get you started:
We are not our kids.
It can be hard to remember that our kids are not a reflection of us or even our own needs.
Each child is a unique human with unique strengths and needs.
If we focus too much on how we would manage a situation (“I was a good student and always did my work - why can’t they just turn in their homework?”),
we miss the truth of who THEY are and what THEY need.
Our kids’ struggles are not a reflection of our parenting.
I would write this one on a giant billboard if I could because it’s a hard one to internalize. Their struggles, whatever they are, are not our fault or a measurement of our success as parents. Good parents have kids who struggle - whether that’s at home or at school.
Curiosity is our friend.
If we approach our kids’ struggles with curiosity, then we move from blame to discovery. “I wonder” is my favorite phrase for this. “I wonder what’s happening when he isn’t turning in his homework?” or “I wonder why his handwriting is so hard to read?” start conversations rather than shutting them down or placing blame. It leaves room for your child to get involved in figuring out what’s happening too.
The more we learn and grow ourselves,
.... the better able we are to meet their challenges with compassion and understanding instead of frustration and criticism about their short-comings and needs.
Information is power for parents.
The more you know about who your child really is & what makes them tick, the better you can meet their needs and advocate for them. The more we know about how our unique child learns, how their brain works, and what they need to succeed at school, the better able we are to address those specific needs too. It takes a shift in our thinking to get past the emotions and preconceived ideas and truly see our child for all of their uniqueness.
But how do you do that? Try asking yourself these questions:
What do you see that concerns you? Have you gotten feedback from teachers? Try looking at it with a different lens! Write down your observations and then try reframing them with that “I wonder. . .” prompt to dig deeper at what might be behind what you’re seeing.
What are your child’s strengths? Are there environments or situations where they thrive? Where have they had success at school? What approaches have worked well in the past? How can you maximize what’s already working well?
When you try some of these new ways of thinking, how does your child look different to you? Can you see them in a way you haven’t before? What changed?
I hope these quick questions got you thinking about how your own child is unique and wonderful. They all deserve to get the support they need to thrive at home and school, so let’s give it to them!
Want to keep reframing? I help parents of kids who struggle at school figure out how to support them and find their own unique path forward. Grab my free School Struggle Checklist or check out the Reframe Parenting blog for more info and inspiration.
Meet Scotti Weintraub.
Scotti is a parent coach, educator, forged-in-fire parent advocate and the founder of Reframe Parenting. She uses her own hard-won school successes to help other parents find their own school wins when it feels like nothing is working.
Reframe Parenting helps parents of spicy & spirited kids kick school stress to the curb and find their joy in parenting again.