If you look around at your friends and family, you will notice those who are really good at some things and those who are not so good at others. What about you? What are you really good at? What is challenging? We all have strengths and weaknesses! But does your child understand this?
As a part of our social emotional learning program, your child is learning what it means to say “WE ALL HAVE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES.” In this unit, activities and discussions are designed to help your child embrace what they are good at and not be embarrassed about things for which they do not show great talent or are struggling to learn. In the Ooops and Yays song, your child is exploring the feelings that arise when he meets a challenge, when his weaknesses deter him from learning or accomplishing a task, or when he makes a mistake.
As you well know, your child may need encouragement in dealing with these experiences, which aren’t easy for anyone. The amazing part of these experiences occur when we use them in a positive manner to learn, grow, and develop.
In this section you will find suggestions for ways you can support your child as he begins his educational journey in these early years. Encourage your child to celebrate strengths, help another, and keep trying! As one verse of the Ooops And Yays song says:
Ooops! This is new and so hard to get
Ooops! And I’m starting to get upset
Ooops! I don’t know what to do
But I’m going to keep on trying. What about you?
This is a good message for all of us! Enjoy this topic together. Remember, WE ALL HAVE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES.
Sending Smiles, Uncle Jim and Prof. Ellen
Important Ideas about the IM4U Principle, WE ALL HAVE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES:
- Often children don’t understand the simple fact that it is normal to be good at some things and not at others. Young children in particular can be embarrassed when they are struggling with a new skill. They may feel fearful of making a mistake and even stop trying.
- When children have success with one thing, their enhanced self-esteem can inspire them to try other and tougher tasks. It all starts with small steps. For example, many children learn to swim by first being willing to put their face in the water.
- Understanding strengths and weaknesses helps children navigate friendship. They learn to celebrate differences, offer support, and extend forgiveness to others when things don’t go as planned.
- Remember, it is the lessons learned in the journey that are often more important and meaningful than the destination. It helps to view the goal not as something finite like swimming, dancing for a performance, or catching a ball. Instead, put your attention on the real prize—developing your child’s self-confidence, resilience, and belief in his ability to learn.
Each of the IM4U units connect to important social emotional learning concepts. The social emotional concepts that are at the heart of this unit are resilience and growth mindset.
“Merriam-Webster defines resilience as “the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” The ability to bounce back or recover is important, but it’s not the whole picture. A resilient child recovers from challenges, but they’ve learned to do more than that. They actually hold a different mindset. A mindset of resiliency that deeply believes: I am not my mistakes, I can try again, things will get better, and I am not alone. (Yes, optimism is positively correlated to resilience).”
Growth mindset is believing in the ability to learn despite setbacks, challenges, or mistakes. Stanford psychologist and author Carol Dweck offers this:
- Growth mindset is the belief that intelligence is not fixed but is actually dynamic and can be developed through the process of learning.
- Encourage children to take risks in thinking, engage in challenges, and learn from mistakes, seeing it all as “food” for the brain. Children’s success in handling future situations lies in being willing to recognize the potential to grow through challenges and mistakes.
- Click Here to Read more about Growth Mindset