I spend a good deal of my professional life assessing children in an attempt to identify their profile of strengths and weaknesses. Once a child is assessed, I do my best to explain the data to the parents in straight-forward, non-jargon terms.
The part of the process I like the least is the question that inevitably arises: “Well, how do we fix it?”
The reason I don’t like this question is that I rarely know the answer. I never think of kids needing to be fixed – they’re not car engines.
One suggestion would be to change your mindset.
“Fix-it language” suggests something is broken. “Skill-language” leads to a productive understanding of what skills can be targeted, which then leads to taking appropriate next-steps.
Really, almost all of the concerns you have as a parent can be framed in skill language, such as, “We need to work on the skill of organizing your backpack…or ‘the skill of comprehension,’. .. or ‘the skill of sharing with others…or ‘the skill of waiting your turn.'” All of these skills can be directly taught and practiced, as can most others you can name.
Better questions to ask than, “How do we fix it,” might be, “So, what do we do next?” “What skills are we targeting?”
Whether it be in the social/emotional realm or the academic, focusing on specific skills helps the child and the parents get their mind around what to do next and away from a “fix-it” mindset.
Copyright, Richard Selznick, Ph.D. 2022, www.shutdownlearner.com.
To Contact Dr. Richard Selznick for advice, consultation or other information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.