For the last year, we have been blessed to live, in all places… a desert. Summer days range from 99-120 degrees F (37.2 -48.8 C)…and the setting sun is such a blessing.
Another curious thing happens during summer nights: the tall cactus blossom with these gorgeous yellow and white flowers. It’s really something to see them closed and shriveled in the day, then burst out so large and full at night.
This got me thinking how like this is in the area of speech for so many of our kiddos… How often do we bombard them with drills, repetitive speech therapy techniques, and command, request, command, request, command, request?
Can you say, banana? Say banana. Can you look at me? Put your lips together. Do it like this… “Buh”
It’s like turning up the heat and shining a spotlight on a closed cactus flower. What if there was another way? A better way, not to bombard them like the sun beating down? Well, there is. It’s called opportunity learning.
Jane Nelson of Positive Discipline asks parents to ask of themselves: what can I say to invite the child to think? For example, instead of telling, or commanding, “Don’t forget your coat; or go put on your coat.” We can be much more effective by saying, “What do you need to take, if you don’t want to be cold outside?” These are open thinking, open ended questions…NOT commands thinly disguised in the form of questions. “Can you say…?” “Can you do…?” are truly commands telling them: Say this. Do this.
In my opinion, opportunity learning is not a “worth trying;” it is a true upgrade in how we think, in how we view life, and how we approach a child with SO much more respect.
Come to think of it… all of “teez” speech (my kiddo) can be attributed to opportunity learning. 🙂
Shifting to opportunity allows them to blossom.