It’s always interesting to me how words or terms come in and out of favor.
When parents come in to talk about their children, “stamina” is a word that I don’t hear mentioned too often.
Parents will make reference to a child having difficulty with “executive functioning,” they rarely know what it means and when I press them a bit to explain further, they look at me a bit quizzically, like why am I asking that?
Take a snippet of a conversation I had recently.
“I think my kid has some type of executive function deficit,” said Martha, parent of a 9-year-old girl in the fourth grade.”
“How do you mean,” I ask.
“I don’t know,” Martha went on. “The teacher said something about it, even though I wasn’t sure what it meant. She also said she gives up quickly on tasks, which I see all the time. I think it’s because all she does for hours each day is swipe on her screens. It’s Tik Tok and YouTube all day and night.”
“So, you’re telling me she can’t tough it out. She lacks stamina.”
“Yeah, that’s it. Why can’t people talk like that. I wish they’d stop using all of the fancy terms – it’s always ‘disorder this’ or ‘disability that.’ No stamina…that’s it. Is that a brain dysfunction? My dad used to say I lacked ‘grit.’ Now that’s a word I never hear used anymore.”
For the moment, stay away from “brain-disorder” thinking. Reflect on the word “stamina” and whether this is an issue for your child.
(More next week.)
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