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I recently received this email:
My 11-year old daughter is drowning in 6th grade. She’s a very smart kid, but too many moving parts. I’m trying to figure out how to get the school on board with helping her… it’s becoming a full time job for me.
In this in-depth video, I describe how the “Dip” pattern happens, how and why student resistance increases, how more overwhelm affects kids, and how making schoolwork more “concrete” helps.
I also discuss 2 types of teachers, and 2 sub-types and why it matters. I explain 2 big mistakes some teachers make and 2 solutions.
Finally I discuss what parents can do to help. Good luck! — Seth
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Hey, what’s up is to suffer suffer., Hope you’re having a great day. Sorry about the t-shirt and looking so Slappy if my mom is watching that she probably is because she watches my videos to my blog. She’s probably saying honey. You look like a slapped. Why are you dressed like that? Just kidding? Hi, Mom. Hi, everybody. I have I got an email that I think is really interesting here. And it goes like that’s my 11 year old daughter is drowning in 6th grade. She’s a very smart kid, but too many moving Parts. I’m trying to figure out how to get the school on board with helping her becoming a full-time job for me. Okay. So first of all, this is the time in the semester, this is mid October when your child is probably going through the depth and if your child is in 6th grade, this is the time when a lot of interesting pattern and start diving because I’m 5th grade. There’s a lot of hand-holding a lot of support and in 6th grade the game completely changes sometimes teachers are really supportive and sometimes they try to be but they’re not so what I’m going to do in this video is I’m going to break this down. I’m going to look at sort of the teachers part and then the parents park I’m going to give you guys tips and insights on both sides of it. So first of all, you have to understand that this dip pattern is not going to go away your daughter is going to experience it in 7th grade 8th grade ninth grade tenth grade 11th grade in your job her job. The teacher job is to help make the dip smaller. It’s not probably going to go away but we want to help him get systems in place so that they don’t have as much of a dip and they don’t have to swim upstream as much now, some kids can really turn it around and get these habits really strong so that they’re not avoid experiencing it at all and when I say, Some kids, I mean some right brained kids to start with executive function left brain kids off and have no trouble they are many of them don’t experience a dip in anyway because they’re really quote on top of things. But that’s not what we were talking about here. Now if your child is going through this thing where there are so many moving Parts in their overwhelmed then the problem is is that one of the problems is that their resistance is going to increase. So if they don’t figure this out there going to become more resistant because they’re going to associate school with more unpleasant things more emotional pain less emotional safety. It’s going to be and not fun place for them and they’re going to associate that with learning in school and education. We don’t want that to happen. So again, one of the problems is that has there is more overwhelmed resistance will increase and then that becomes harder and harder for parents to deal with to get them to be quote motivated as Resistance increases. How do you get the resistance to get smaller? How do you accomplish this stuff while you have to make things concrete? Okay, if she’s swimming in Vita if she’s drowning in these details, how do you get her to learn to manage the details? We have to make it from abstract to concrete. I’ll explain that a little bit right now abstract. Is this I have to do homework tonight. I don’t know how long it’s going to take. It’s overwhelming. That’s all I know that’s abstract abstraction feel very unsafe because it’s not concrete. There’s no endpoint you want to resist it cuz you don’t know how much time and energy it’s going to take concrete means I have homework today. I have it in for classes at this this this and this I’m going to be spending about this much time on it. I’m going to start at this time, and I’m going to end it this time and I’ll get everything back in my backpack and I’ll be done that’s concrete. So when getting from abstract to concrete takes time and practice and oftentimes when you’re not getting clear message from the teacher and You have to rely on a kid is not great at planners to tell you what accurately what’s going on. That’s very difficult. Any I’ll let me move on to a teacher’s so I’m going to talk about two types of teachers. There are two main categories of teachers. I’m going to talk about right now one is right brain teachers to is Left Brain teachers right brain teachers tend to be more creative more free more chill more relaxed more loose. And so that’s your right brain teachers the vast majority of teachers. I’ve noticed are left-brained. They’re very structured organized people. They do school while they system and I swap now within the left brain teachers there two types of teachers those that understand right brain people in those that don’t the left rein teachers that are very structure that understand right brain kids while they’re often awesome for raping kids because they bring so much structure, but they also bring the compassion and understanding to help us could be successful left-brain teachers who do not get right brain people off. Then we’ll say things like this. I’m trying to teach your kid responsibility. I’m just trying to let you know they have to follow these rules. I need to give him these world. I’m going to mark them down half off if it played blah blah blah, they’re very rigid and they’re very strict and and they’re not flexible and they don’t understand what’s going on with executive function and oftentimes these left brain teachers who do not get it. They’re not as compassionate. They don’t understand. They think that it’s a matter of that your kids not trying at your kid doesn’t care about school that your kid is lazy that your kid is unmotivated. All these things are lie. So there are two big mistakes that teachers will make one is that they have this misunderstanding and don’t understand executive function and they think that they’re teaching responsibility and they think that they’re just being lazy and they’re blaming it on the wrong things mistake number two is that they don’t understand the time and energy that is required for some kids. To process in to do their work. They don’t understand that your child is coming home and spending 3 hours on something that a highly structured left brain kid will take 20 or 30 minutes to do they don’t understand that your kid is absolutely. That they don’t understand that your kid is emotionally worn down that after a day of school. They don’t have the energy and it takes so much for that. So they don’t they can’t see inside your house and they don’t understand how deeply in need your kid is of downtime. And so those are the two mistakes one not understanding is that get a function to not understand the time and energy to take saliva. Skip the process now, they’re two solutions that I have here for teachers. One of the solutions is that they learn about executive function. How come they learn while I have a PDF that you can print share with them or you can look on my site and use that stuff. But you can do anything. Now lot of teachers will and principles and counselors will think that they’d understand executive function, but they do not they Very vaguely understand that they know the word and throw it around but they don’t actually get it. So the solution number one is for them to really get it for them to really take time and trainings and what have you in school and Val. Are you learning about executive function cuz executive function as what’s affecting all of their kids that are getting D’s in apps that have Asperger’s autism. Dyslexia ADHD bipolar sensory integration issues addiction issues. All of these things. These kids are struggling with executive function on some level but teachers don’t know what it is. Why don’t teachers know what it is. Well, that’s a whole nother video in a whole nother story. But my thinking is that the system we are so driven by standards and by his testing and buy the wrong things that were not we don’t care about that because that’s where my executive function is hard if it takes time and energy and understanding working with numbers and data and data collection and tasks is easy and it’s highly profitable for math of companies that are profiting off of education. So that’s my take on that. Fallujah number one with learn about ETF solution number to for teachers is to really focus on meeting the needs of these kids too many teachers do this really well, even if if there is no IEP or 504 many teachers make a combination to make modifications for these kids. They don’t assign busy work. They give less homework. They have more engaging assignment. They have shorter assignments. They give kids options for products most teachers just think the products as test quizzes exams and papers. Like those are the main products that there’s so many ways to show their learning a lot of great teachers who are meeting their needs. Are you doing Project based assignment? They use less boring assignments. They don’t depend on the textbooks. They don’t do a bunch of stupid worksheets. So now if a teacher doesn’t do this stuff, you have to Advocate to get these things and I have an advocate us a few hours because he thinks on my site that might be helpful for you, but you have to really Advocate to get these things if a teacher is not the type of tea. That really knows how to meet the needs and that is shaming them and saying you’re just lazy your kids not trying your kids off task. They just you know don’t care about school. Now for parents what can parents do well parents obviously can understand executive function for one thing. So you have to really understand executive function look at my article on Executive function and in print that PDF and really soak it in. Okay, so that’s number one in really understand executive function. What I produce them that paper is enough for you to get a good grasp of it. That was the goal of that article to you have to understand the systems that these kids need and there is a finite amount of systems and I think when parents and kids can wrap their heads around these are the systems we need to master then it at least gives you a place to start templeman systems what I mean by systems is a system for organizing papers. I prefer color-coded folders at system of using a planner. I do not like school planners. I like monthly planners yada yada. This is all in my Course I send out when you sign up for my blog refer to that stuff. It’s good it explains the system case systems for advocacy systems for for managing the school work. So there is a finite amount and once you get that then you can start refining the systems to you have to understand that for these kids. You have to really look at personalizing systems personalizing them for your child’s idiosyncrasies. Your child’s uniqueness. Your child’s unique processing style your child unique brain. Okay, you can’t just do what everybody else does for example, the three-ring binder that a lot of schools Force kids to use for kids who struggle with executive function 3-ring binders are horrible because as you said your kid at swimming are drowning and details 3-ring binders require way too much time and effort to manage the details now structured organize kids love ring binders these kids don’t they don’t need to be managing all those details. They need to be learning and then having time for themselves at hopefully at night as you probably know there is little if any research that shows that any homework before high school does any good whatsoever, so, I’m a lot of homework is busy working and is is not helpful. So if your kid is really needs downtime you need to advocate for that. Anyhow, the point was was the new ones of systems the system have to be personalized to these kids not the same systems as everybody else very very important. Number three for parents Advocate Advocate Advocate Advocate. Look at my application blogs. And when you Advocate like CC people, like really fight free kid came ashore to keep them bulleted given to the point you from solution-focused keep them focused on that. You guys are all in the same team trying to help your kid and but do beat the squeaky wheel don’t be ashamed my messages like helicopter parents and stuff like that. Do not listen to that shame that our culture has ignore it do what your kid needs. This is a critical time 6th grade is an absolutely critical time. They can they are transitioning hugely. Fifth grade, they’re learning other absolutely bombarded with tons of new teachers tons of new says it’s overwhelming to the nervous system. It’s overwhelming emotionally. It’s overwhelming socially and it’s even overwhelming physically. These kids are worn down 6th grade is hard for a lot of kids. So Advocate Advocate Advocate listen to your gut because it’s probably right but just keep them short keep them team-oriented that you’re all on the same team and focused on the actions that need to be taken to support your child. Next routines. Your parents can help their kids have routines making a daily plan. I have these on my website somewhere. If you look up daily planner today’s plan and look at how I teach how to do this kids don’t know how to make a daily plan and then they say I got to do homework and they don’t even know where to start they have to learn to plan so that they can have a starting point. And so that it could become concrete what I was talking about at the very beginning of this video. So print off the daily plans for my site. Is in there free just take advantage of it. It’s there. They need routines for going to bed. They need routines for the Sunday overhaul or the weekly overhaul that I talked about on my site. If you don’t do that Weekly overall and your kids in sixth grade to really missing a great opportunity for them to learn how to reset all their systems on a weekly basis. Okay. These kids do not know even know where to start a break it all down for you so routines and then finally I want to talk about chunking you Chunk in two ways by task and by time, this is a great white shark bite ask you write all the tasks that a lot of times these kids feel like it’s too big of a task. It’s overwhelming. So you want to junk it down into small pieces and trunk by time. Can you work on your homework for 5 minutes? 10 minutes 15 minutes chunk it down so that it’s not overwhelming. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. These kids have to eat the elephant they have to do so much has Apple ever run into them. It has to not feel overwhelming. It has to be bite-size where they’re going to get overwhelmed and they’re going to get more over arms and 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th and 12th, and they’re going to sink in they’re going to go through the same patterns and looking to get more discouraged and they’re really going to struggle and then what’s going to happen is what happened to me when I failed out of college. I almost out of the second college but I dropped out of college. I felt like a failure. I didn’t know that I could do anything with my life. I didn’t know how to manage this stuff and I had to learn all that so you can totally bypass and avoid that if you if you give them these structures to a chunk by Time by task so to recap Teachers there two types left and right brain and within the left brain, there’s some that understand right-brainers and some that don’t they make the two mistakes that these teachers sometimes make is that they do not understand executive function and they blame it on the wrong things like laziness teaching their and they’re trying to teach him responsibility and they’re just looking at it the wrong way in the steak number two is that these teachers don’t understand the time and energy that is required for these kids the process and they just think they need to work harder or something and I’m missing the boat the solutions are that they learn about executive function and that they have alternate ways of meeting a kids need then they focus on those for parents the what is going to be helpful is to understand that there are sis a finite amount of systems. Make sure that you you help your child develop those systems in a way that is personalized to them. And Taylor to them advocate for them and be the squeaky wheel and don’t worry about it. Like say what you need to say and speak your truth and get the support you need and don’t stop pushing for it. Okay, and Implement routines like the daily plan in the Sunday night overall and chunk things down by time and by task. I know that was a lot in this video. Don’t worry about memorizing all of it. Just try to implement whatever you can. Okay, it’s a lot. This is a very packed question. It was a short question, but it’s there’s so much to do at so just hang in there parents. Keep pushing forward. Keep pushing forward keep pushing forward. Listen to what your kids need to trust your gut and good luck to you. I’ll see you soon.