There are very many children that have been called cursed or simply stupid just because they are slow as far as classroom affairs are concerned. You know, however much you try to compare this slow learning child to a normal child, you will never get there. This child is not an underachiever because he/she is performing under their grade level. So how about accepting the fact that this child is a slow learner thus needs help? It will be a great start to making this child’s future better. So what really causes a child to be a “slow learner” — one who just does not learn as fast as other children in the classroom? Well, there are many hereditary, environmental, and physical factors that contribute to one’s intellect, and it is difficult to isolate the particular influences. For many children who have difficulty in school, we will never know precisely why their ability to learn is limited.
But that’s no reason for a parent to give up on a child. This child may end up being a great person in future. Heard of the saying, “disability in not inability”? Yes, it works for this child too.
There are many things a parent can do for or with that child so as to make him/her feel loved and a better person as well as improve his/her abilities.
- The first and most critical thing I learnt as I talked to a psychologist is that the parent needs to be very patient with this child. This is simply because the child is slow and it will cause frustration to the parent. So all that this parent needs to do is managing his/her emotions so as to avoid anger out-bursts and help the child learn instead of feeling like he/she is a burden in the home.
- The parent(s) also needs to have empathy and open to listening to the child at all times. This child also needs to be checked on regularly so as to assess the progress made. This in turn determines what the parent needs to do to help the child. A parent needs to pause whatever he/she is doing with the child and check on his/her individual progress lest the child will make no progress and a lot of time will be wasted with no fruits.
- The psychologist goes on to say that checking one’s pace is another important aspect that the parent needs to do. Considering the fact that the parent is a fast learning person without anomalies, his/her pace of doing things may be too fast for the child to catch up with. Therefore, the parent needs to stop and see which pace he/she can adopt so as to be of use to the child.
- Counseling skills are highly needed for the parent for then he/she can be able to know what to do at a particular time when dealing with the child. It is very wise of the parent to take a short counseling course as this would do him/her good in learning how to handle the child.
- The parent also needs to be in line with what the child uses to study. This therefore calls for the parent to have the study materials that this child needs, learn how to use them and sometimes it may necessitate the parent to read the study material so as to be abreast with what the child is studying. That way, when any question from the child comes up, the parent is able to answer efficiently. This also helps the parent to support the child through study time instead of just taking on a supervisory role.
- The parent(s) needs to work closely with teachers so that they do not feel over-burdened. Once the teacher feels that parents of this child do not care about his/her academic progress, he/she will also give up with the common statement, “I will carry on with those who are with me” thus the child lags behind. However, if the parent(s) cares, the teacher will also have the initiative to cultivate more time for this child so as to help him/her get better in the academics field. This therefore builds a supportive network for the child and a constant reminder to the child that he/she is greatly cared for, as well as the teacher that the parent cares about the child’s well-being.
- However, sometimes the books may fail terribly. This does not mean that the parent throws in the towel; it only calls for creativity. The parent needs to look critically at the child’s daily activities so as to assess what he/she enjoys doing thus nurture that talent. That way, the parent will have helped this child become a better and constructive person despite being unable to perform as expected in class.
It is also crucial to know that despite the fact that the whole responsibility of raising a slow learning child can be tedious, maximum open-mindedness on the side of the parent can be a great remedy. This way, the parent, he says, will be able to deal with whatever new thing as far as this child is concerned arises. The parent will also be able to appreciate the small improvements that occur in the child’s life.