Current Read: Lost At School by Dr Ross W. Greene…

“When the ‘kids do well if they want to’ philosophy is applied to a child who’s not doing well, then we believe that the reason he’s not doing well is because he doesn’t want to. This very common assumption is usually wrong and causes adults to believe that their primary role in the life of a challenging kid (and the goal of intervention) is to make the kid want to do well. This is typically accomplished by motivating the kid, by giving him the incentive to do well, by rewarding him when he behaves in an adaptive fashion and punishing him when he behaves in a maladaptive fashion. By contrast, the ‘kids do well if they can’ philosophy carries the assumption that if a kid could do well he would do well. Doing well is always preferable to not doing well, but only if a kid has the skills to do well in the first place. If a kid isn’t doing well, he must be lacking the skills. What’s the most important role an adult can play in the life of such kid? First, assume he’s already motivated, already knows right from wrong, and has already been punished enough. Then, figure out what skills he’s lacking so you have the clearest possible understanding of what’s getting in his way. Understanding why a kid is challenging is the first and most important part of helping him. This can be a radical philosophical shift for a lot of people.” .

“When the ‘kids do well if they want to’ philosophy is applied to a child who’s not doing well, then we believe that the reason he’s not doing well is because he doesn’t want to. This very common assumption is usually wrong and causes adults to believe that their primary role in the life of a challenging kid (and the goal of intervention) is to make the kid want to do well. This is typically accomplished by motivating the kid, by giving him the incentive to do well, by rewarding him when he behaves in an adaptive fashion and punishing him when he behaves in a maladaptive fashion. By contrast, the ‘kids do well if they can’ philosophy carries the assumption that if a kid could do well he would do well. Doing well is always preferable to not doing well, but only if a kid has the skills to do well in the first place. If a kid isn’t doing well, he must be lacking the skills. What’s the most important role an adult can play in the life of such kid? First, assume he’s already motivated, already knows right from wrong, and has already been punished enough. Then, figure out what skills he’s lacking so you have the clearest possible understanding of what’s getting in his way. Understanding why a kid is challenging is the first and most important part of helping him. This can be a radical philosophical shift for a lot of people.”

“Consequences are wonderful when they work. They are less wonderful when they don’t work. And they often don’t work for the kids to whom they are most frequently applied. That’s because there are really only two goals imposed consequences help us achieve: (1) teaching kids basic lessons about right and wrong ways to behave, and (2) giving kids incentive to behave the right way. But—and this is important—the vast majority of challenging kids already know how we want them to behave…most challenging kids already want to behave the right way. They don’t need us to continue giving them stickers, depriving them of recess, or suspending them from school; they’re already motivated.”

Words of wisdom from my #currentread : Lost at School by one of my favorite parenting book authors: Ross W. Greene 🙌🏼

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