Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"It's easy!"

Has someone ever said to you, "Just try it, it's easy!" and then you find the task they coaxed you into trying is painfully difficult? Did this leave you feeling exceptionally capable or downright stupid…and embarrassed?

When this happens to the average adult, it doesn't take long for them to conclude two things:
  • This person who's trying to help me is nuts…and definitely not to be trusted!
  • Why should I try if I can't even handle the easy stuff?
Quite frequently I overhear well-meaning parents and educators using the "Just try it, it's easy!" approach in an attempt to urge a reluctant child into trying something they're afraid of. When the child finds the task easy, all is right with the world. When they don't, they're confronted with the pain of seeing that they might be so slow that they can't even do something really, really "easy"!
How often does this need to happen before our kids lose faith in our word? How often does this have to happen before our children lose faith in their own abilities? Are you willing to take this sort of risk with your kids?

Received in a Love & Logic Newsletter, re: Motivating kids to try.

I remember this as a kid, I remember feeling completely inept and stupid because I couldn't master something immediately and I remember giving up.  I think I also compensated by acting a know-it-all, adeptly hiding what I mightn’t know until I could BS my way into (or out of) a situation.

I remember now to avoid saying "it's easy" and instead go with "simple, but not always easy....let me know what you think"----even with adults.

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