When Blahs Hang Around – Part II
The last post at RhymeLovingWriter™ set the stage by talking about when blahs hang around for grown-ups. But when it comes to youngsters? Oh my goodness – let’s dial things up a notch, shall we?
As a very general rule some youngsters seem to get bored as easily as they breathe. This happens more often during winter months when stuck indoors for long stretches. Normal household chores or schooling drag and drape like a pall over inert objects (or subjects in the case of home schooling).
The good news is that the inverse – getting quickly motivated – also holds true on many counts. The trick is in finding the trigger that sets each youngster’s sites on that which meets goals most quickly. Then find a way to do things which avoid stalling in-between.
When you have a young one who is happiest outside
Indoor time in winter sets a pace he can’t abide
She might mope in boredom’s posse, long bereft of glee
Yet there’s hope on this horizon – won’t you come and see?
What’s A Youngster to Do?
The success a young one achieves toward side-stepping the blahs often rests on the daily agenda. Focus on the work/chores (something to be endured to gain reward) as opposed to focus on the reward (with the work/chore as natural steps leading up to it) creates a different mindset.
Sound silly? Maybe so, yet studies show time and again that attitude going in affects outcome. In education or personal improvement, to some degree we perform as we prepare.
What the Experts Say
In the area of education, this medium length article from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), focuses on two categories of attitude, the learning climate and classroom tasks. Both have points adaptable to those who home educate.
The mention of ‘mental climate’ provides a change agent most within the youngster’s control. There was also a heading titled ‘comfort’ and use of laughter. It’s reasonable to consider, for one who writes in rhyme, it’s use as a tool to aid that happy goal.
Task value as determined by gearing study toward student’s interest is another gem mentioned, as well as how all of the important aspects are integrated seamlessly into lessons. That happens through planning. If that’s done well, execution flows.
The next article, from online blog Success, focuses on personal improvement. Though it’s written from the standpoint of an adult perspective, all of the common sense ten point action list can be adapted for youngsters. My favorite is a combination of #5 & #6, the power of words and a positive greeting (and #9 sort of mirrors these too).
Being an affirmation-loving rhymer gives me a vision of creating a personal rhyme using each child’s name, either as a wake-me-up or a pick-me-up when a case of the blahs attacks. It serves as a personalized gift just for them. If repeated often enough perhaps it could trigger positive response to circumvent an onset of blahs.
My guess is that more articles yielded similar results. Breaking it all down, my takeaway to share with you is that some advance planning, focused on joy (and I’ll throw in a push for rhyme), decided as much as possible by the child (while encouraged and monitored by parent) stand a decent chance to move from boredom and blah to action and ah!
What This Looks Like in Real Life
That’s a bunch of words and a couple of links that all boil down to a few suggestions. Try a few and share below how they work for you and your precious young ones (or add some of your own winning suggestions in the comments section).
1) Begin with the end in mind – focus on the reward and define steps you need to get there (have the child define the reward – extra free reading time, special treat, 10 minute later bedtime, etc.)
2) Make it personal – use the interests of each youngster to reflect both their mental climate and abilities; have them come up with a list of rewards (short-term and final) they hope to reap
3) Small steps – mini-goals on the way to the ultimate goal provide quick, pleasing confidence builders (i.e. a snack, a star, extra 5 minute break, recite a rhyme together, read a chapter for fun – they pick the book)
4) Make it fun – create a unique rhyme for each child (recite it to wake them, encourage them at breaks, use on love notes, be creative). I’ll help if I can – just contact me. Incidentally, my husband had a unique handshake for each of our children, kind of like this New York teacher. Rhyme could be incorporated into that too.
Whatever you choose, serve it with a smile & a rhyme, and the blahs will WANT to leave!