YOU ARE CRUCIAL IN THE CONVERSATION WITH YOUR CHILD
Either you do not have dyslexia as a parent and may find it difficult to resonate with your child’s challenges.
Or, you have dyslexia but may find it difficult to talk about the annoying letters, because it brings up your own bad experiences as a dyslexic person.
Whether you have dyslexia or not, you can be an obstacle yourself to talk freely with your child about difficult thoughts and feelings. Just because you are who you are.
We all know that our parents said “smart” things to us when we were children, but we did not want to listen. Just because it was our parents saying it.
Actually, I have to admit that I still not listen when my mother offers me advice. However, I can listen when it comes from other people.
Therefore, I have the following tips to you when you have to talk to your child about dyslexia:
1- Acknowledge your child’s feelings and thoughts
You should also do it, although your child does things because of their feelings, which you do not understand.
For instance, your child might be making trouble, withdraws, or keeps procrastinating when it is time to do homework.
Your child often has their own (often unconscious) ways to try to escape from situations that create negative thoughts and emotions.
If you acknowledge the feelings behind your child’s actions, it is easier to start a positive conversation.
2 – Put dyslexia away from your child
Use others’ stories to talk about dyslexia. But remember that your child should be able to mirror themselves in the stories.
It is not always a good idea to find a catalogue of famous dyslexic people, with lives that are far from what your child is living through.
Instead, find the close stories. For instance, you can talk about other dyslexic people in the family, who have done well without being blocked by the letters.
It is often easier to talk about other people’s challenges, and they can be a way to talk about the things that give your child negative thoughts and feelings.
It also makes it easier for you to be the listening and understanding parent, instead of being the one to give a lot of “good” advice and admonitions, which your child shuts out straight away.
If you do not have any dyslexic family members or friends that your child can see themselves in, you can also find stories from other dyslexic people, who host talks. That is often a beneficial way to gain insight into other dyslexic people’s lives.
3 – Give your child more knowledge
A third important element in the journey towards your child accepting their dyslexia is knowing what it is (and isn’t).
It demystifies dyslexia and gives your child an insight into what is at stake when the letters are frustrating.
For instance, dyslexia is inherent and means that you have trouble converting letters to sounds. It is not a disease and does not make you stupid.
You can easily provide your child with knowledge about what dyslexia is. There are many ways to explain it, and I have described some of them for you here.