Relationship Starts with Relating. So Does Learning.


“My child just doesn’t learn! What Can I Do?”

If you are like me, you have thought or uttered these words more than once. Especially with our kiddos. Besides the fact that the brain doesn’t fully develop until around 25 years of age (and that is in a normal developmental process), there are other factors that can enhance or inhibit a child ‘s ability to learn. Here is a big one: Relationship.  Many parent/child relationships become estranged due to the impact of trauma.  When we continue to dance the dance of fear and control in an effort to help our children learn and comply.  We confuse discipline, which means to teach, with punishment.
Restoring Relationship and Enhancing the Learning Process

It may seem challenging to think of rebuilding a lost relationship, especially with one’s child after all that has gone on. We may fail to remember that they are in fact, our child. There is a very simple lesson here but please don’t underestimate the impact of what seems to be so obvious.

For a number of years all of the security, nurturing and guidance a child received was from the parents. After spending that much time together you have literally become a part of one another. In this manner the relationship is never truly lost, the pathway always remains. Unfortunately, like an unused back country road it has become grown over and littered with breaks and cracks. Repair must start at the most basic level or simply slowing down and making the time to reach out with a simple phone call, kind gesture, or word of apology or just light talk about something of interest.

I recently heard about some research that was done in school where the teachers were asked to find things that were of interest to both they and students. It could be baseball, clothing, games or whatever. It did not matter as long as the teacher could find things that both they and the student were interested in. They found that the statistical increase in the children’s learning progress was significant compared to the group of teachers who did not use this approach. Actually huge in laymans terms. Simply put, relationship leads to learning.

Many of us feel that our children are just not learning. At least in terms of what we want or expect them to learn. Want your child to learn? Find things that you both are interested in. If you come up with nothing, then find some. Enter into the life of your child and find some commonalities. Something you can relate to. This helps build a fertile environment where the learning, whatever it might be, can take place.

Relationship starts with relating. In order to relate we must slow down. Start with something you can relate to… not something you can ‘t – then build from there. The relationship can take care of itself, if we let it. Think in terms of… “Hey, I can relate to that!” and keep on going. It might help to recall what it was like when you were young. So whether 35, 25, 15 or whatever age – RELATE-tionship is the key.