Rewarding hard work not ability

Life is a competition, there are winners and losers. If you’re intelligent enough you’ll win and if not, you inevitably miss out. At least that’s what I use to believe.

Both W and B are intelligent enough to go somewhere in life, which parent wouldn’t want their child to succeed? However the nature of W’s additional needs means that while he can build astounding structures and creatsures from his Lego and construction kits, he can’t use cutlery when his 2 year old brother can, he can’t take his shoes on and off like his little brother and he struggles to hold a pencil correctly. 

These difficulties have given him, at the tender age of 4, the impression that he is less than and lacking in intelligence. I would have misguidedly agreed with this sentiment 10 years ago. Fortunately for him I no longer think that way and instead encourage them both that hard work will help them achieve their goals. While I praise them for doing well, I reward them for working hard. 

I always say:

“Well done! You worked really hard and you didn’t give up, you did it!”

Recently I took them to see SING! W’s reward for finally being able to undo his shirt buttons after only 4 intensive OT sessions. It might seem like an insignificant event to reward him for, but for a child lacking confidence in their own abilities and struggling with every day life skills it meant a lot.

I want to continue to encourage both the boys to work hard on achieving their goals because I believe a chid that works hard to get a B grade will be going further than the complacent child who achieves an A grade with their eyes closed. 

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