This week, coincidentally, I worked with three different clients who came to me with the same issue regarding their children. Theirs is the child who doesn’t like to try, who won’t try something new–a new lesson, a new activity, a new game, anything new to him–especially if it means he might not be good or good enough in his estimation.
This is also the week, coincidentally, that my new website is launching (note the word new.) I have been planning, designing, working and reworking this website with my website designer for over two months. What an adventure and undertaking this has been. But it’s not the newness of the website that marks the coincidence to which I refer; it’s that learning to navigate this website has been a huge challenge for me. It was all new to me. I would have to learn a whole new skill set–how to use a Flip Video Camera, to upload and download and save the videos, to use YouTube, and to embed videos on my website. I would have to learn to write and post blogs, to navigate Constant Contact, to organize, divide, group, and manage my robust contact list. I needed to become facile at adding, deleting, editing content, adding links, adding pdf’s, uploading images, updating text…and making it all pretty. Are you kidding? Talk about old dog learning new tricks!
But my web designer was a gentle and patient teacher. With each of my complaints of “No way I can possibly do this!” she gently encouraged and prodded me. “Betsy, even my mom can do this. I know you are going to love it after you get there. Let’s give it a chance. I’ll work with you.” And lesson by lesson, tiny piece at a time, very slowly, step by step, this techno-phobe learned how to navigate her own new website.
I get it. I know how the child feels, fearful of trying something new. What he doesn’t need is to be cajoled or pushed or humiliatied or to feel your frustration with him. What he needs is his parent’s understanding, a validation of his concerns, sensitivity to his feelings, and loving encouragement. He needs to be allowed to take the plunge in his own way, tiny step at a time, mastering each small piece of the bigger task in his own way, all the while building his confidence. I know this because I speak from experience.
Now check out my new website. I did it!