Last week we discussed the idea of your child’s language learning bank account and the importance of making positive deposits. These regular positive deposits help children build confidence which will make them more resilient when times get tough. This week, let’s look at some specific, simple examples of positive deposits you can do at home:
Challenge By Choice
At home, lets get creative on how we can encourage our child to speak and engage in French. If you want your child to participate in a French activity experiment with giving them multiple options and allowing them to choose rather then just telling them they have to do it. For example, you can say something like, “September is coming soon and I think it would help you to start practicing speaking and hearing French, what do you think about:
- Watching a movie in French today?
- Calling one of your friends and trying to talk for 15 minutes in French together?
- Participating in Online French Chat!
Build Trust Through Acknowledgement
How often do you acknowledge your child for their extra effort at learning French? Has nagging them to speak French and/or study become a default way of communicating? Remember from last week we learnt from author Dr. John M. Gottman’s research that it takes 5 positive interactions to make up for 1 negative one. Saying something as simple as, I’m so impressed your learning French! Or “Wow, I notice you’ve really come a long way since you’ve started” are simple but impactful. Gottman also notes that small daily actions are far more important than the occasional over the top gestures.
Shift To Curiosity
How can we be more understanding about the stage of learning your child is at? Becoming a detective into your child’s experience shows them they are supported even if you don’t solve their problem. For example, your child is reluctant to do any of the French activities you’ve put time into arranging for them. This can be frustrating but instead of leading with frustration challenge yourself to lead with curiosity. Ask, “I’m wondering what kind of activity you might enjoy or what about these actives don’t you like?” Every time you do this it makes a positive deposit into their language learning bank account because they will not associate language learning with getting in trouble or feeling not good enough.
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