All kids are different! I do realize this isn’t some big revelation… However, for those of you who work with kids or have your own children, take a second to think about that. I’ll wait…
If we lined 25 kids up for a race at the park, every one of them would finish at a different time. Not every kid runs as fast as the kid next to them. Their brains work in much the same way. No two brains are wired the same. Each child’s brain processes information at a different pace.
Several years ago I was speaking with a teacher at the end of a school year. We were talking about things we could do differently the following year to help our students who struggle academically. She said she told a child something on the last day of school and asked him to repeat to her what she just said. He could not do it. She did not understand why. I explained to her that the child was either still processing what the teacher had told him or was trying to get the words in his head to come out of his mouth.
If she had given him more time, the child would have been able to repeat what she had said.
The teacher also shared with me that the same student could not point out the main idea of a story after working on the skill all year. The child probably first started learning about the main idea in second grade. I told the teacher that the child physically cannot comprehend the main idea.
Physically, you ask? Yep! Both of the issues this child is having are physical issues. The child is struggling to process any information. If his parents ask him to go to his bedroom, put on his jammies, brush his teeth, and wash his face, most likely he would get to his room and have no clue what he was just asked to do.
This child’s auditory processing needs to improve. The only way to do that is to strengthen the child’s vestibular system, muscles in the middle ear. Hang upside down, do somersaults, roll down a hill, swing on a swing, jump on a trampoline, jump rope, ride a bike, balance on a rock, play on a merry go round…you get the idea.
Getting kids off the couch, away from video games and screens, and teaching them how fun it is to be outside playing are the best things for them! Our kids are too sedentary. They need to get up and move. When they do that, their brain is happy, and they will be able to process information a lot better…making school more enjoyable!
So, the next time you give your child multi-task directions, give them time to process what you have said before you let them go. Wait time is a beautiful thing!