I have a saying in my classroom – ‘It’s ok to be mad but not to be mean’ it’s a value I instil every day. Whether it’s encouraging your child to open a door for someone else, help them with with a task or giving a hug when someone feels sad. Teach them to play with the child who is left alone, to recognise the importance of sharing, to understand that sometimes we all need a little extra love.
Whilst we all love our children, at times we’re all (adults and children alike) guilty of showing our love in the way we would like to receive it. Why not turn that on it’s head this summer, and show your child your love in a way that will make sense to them. Spend time talking to them about their special interests, give them ways out when things get too hard, and together create a summer holiday that works for the whole family… remember there isn’t just one way of doing anything.
All too often our children are critical for being too outspoken, too direct, too truthful. Let’s turn that on it’s head this holiday and show our children that honesty truly is a virtue. Listen carefully to and acknowledge their worries and fears. Let them know you are there and want to listen.
Encourage your child to do things for others, whether that’s helping you make tea or setting the table. Whether it’s playing with a younger sibling or spending time chatting to an elderly relative. Research shows that one of the things that impacts the most in the self esteem of children and young people is the impact they have on others. Let’s make sure that this holidays it’s a positive one.
Remember to allow your child to immerse themselves as fully as possible in the things that make them happiest – yes even if it’s video games. Encourage self care from a young age, and make sure they realise it’s ok to spend time each day doing things that they want to do.
Teach them to ask questions about things they don’t understand, whether that’s the latest science discovery or the needs of another child. Encourage them to explore new ideas and seek clarification. Make it ok to admit you don’t have all the answers.
Give them skills to help them cope when things go wrong. Model how you react to making mistakes, use self talk to explain your actions. Cry when you are sad, and encourage them to do the same. But then pick yourself up and teach them it’s ok to try again. Tell them it’s the effort you are proud of not the result.
Give them opportunities to excel at what they are good at. All too often we spend a long time teaching our children the things they struggle with, practicing the things they find hard. This summer make sure you give them chance, to excel, to shine, to realise that they are the best.
Show them the importance of being an individual. Celebrate the fact that they are #UNIQUEANDSUCCESSFUL, remind them being different is cool. Celebrate who they are and who your family is.
Encourage them to accept others for who they are. Celebrate differences, teach your children that none of us are the same. Emphasise that they are #UNIQUEANDSUCCESSFUL and show them that others are too.
Come and join our Free Facebook group for families of #UNIQUEANDSUCCESSFUL children.
Why not take a look at Victoria’s book, packed full of Autism strategies for families that are easy and practical to implement.