Jacob is an endearing 8-year-old child, well-liked by teachers and other kids. Playing a variety of sports, he is frequently seen as a team leader by coaches and peers.
There is one problem, though, eating at Jacob. Even though he is now in third grade, he still can’t read, spell or write, causing him considerable embarrassment. Worse than that, his younger first grade sister, Ava, is easily reading chapter books and you can bet she is letting him know.
While the evening ritual of Jacob’s mom practicing his reading fluency takes place, Ava sits close by with a pretty challenging book that Jacob would be unable to read. Subtly (or not so subtly) Ava shows off in a, “Ha Ha, look what I can do” manner, which totally galls Jacob.
Put simply, Jacob has to fight the urge to not punch Ava out (and sometimes that doesn’t work out so well).
Jacob’s mom does her best with statements like, “Now Jake, no need to get upset. We’re all good at different things. Just look at how you did in baseball last week.” This falls on deaf ears and the mom’s well-intended words don’t make the slightest dent with him.
I wish I had a straight-forward solution for you, but as far as I can tell much of this taking place is baked in the sibling cake. There is the constant jockeying for positioning that goes on and this is just one more example in the mix.
The best advice I would have would be to try and reduce the opportunity for embarrassment, by separating the siblings during the times of homework and reading practice.
Beyond that, put your feet up and forget about it.
Copyright, Richard Selznick, Ph.D. 2022, www.shutdownlearner.com.
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