I use this technique in my class on a regular basis with hugely positive results. I find it grounds the children in themselves. It helps soften the need to compare because the more they practice the technique the more they see that everyone has every trait/quality, they just display them in different areas according to what most interests them.
Albert Einstein - “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with the problems longer”
Step 1 - Make a list of all the traits which they admire/see in others but don’t see in themselves.
Step 2 - Pick one of the traits/qualities on the list to work on at a time. (Eg-confidence).
Tip: Identify somebody who your child thinks has a lot of this trait (celebrity, friend, parent, teacher - this will be the bench mark).
Step 3 - (there is a little bit of effort required from the teacher, parent and child).
- Look at what your child loves doing (Eg-computer games, socialising, sport, reading, drawing, playing imaginary games, watching their favourite programme). You have found what they love doing when they never have to be reminded to do it. It is the area they are intrinsically motivated to do. Try view their passion neutrally - try not to make a judgement of it being a worthy or unworthy past-time.
- Now sit down together with a sheet of paper and pencil and work with your child to recognise where they display this quality when partaking in their chosen pastime/pursuit/activity. You will come up against resistance but be patient and take your time. If you can’t see it they wont be able to see it. Find 30 examples where either the child recognises the trait in themselves and/or they see where others recognise the trait in them.
- In order for your child to own their trait completely, 30 or more specific examples must be brought into their conscious perception. A specific example requires the child to pin point the time and event precisely. (eg - 2 weeks ago at Tom birthday playing soccer I did this or that) Generalities are not sufficient to get the results we are looking for. The child must see and feel the situation clearly.
Don’t stop until the child sees that they have this trait to the same degree as the person they originally picked out as displaying the quality/trait they admire.
Please feel free to call me with any questions I'd be happy to share any experiences. Contact details are available in the contact section of our site.
Gavin Bourke – Life Skills Academy