WHAT YOU CAN DO
First and foremost, you can start by speaking to your child about the thoughts and emotions that you observe through their behaviour. In that way, your child can open up about feelings that you hadn’t considered.
At the same time, you can help your child figure out what to do when the feelings are getting overwhelming.
One benefit from speaking with your child is that your child will feel seen and understood. Your child sees that he or she is not wrong or alone. That helps their self-worth.
Self-worth is especially important when your child has to work through the obstacles with the letters.
Your child sees that they need to use more energy than their classmates on the letters. Your child needs to know that they are just as valuable as other children, even if the letters show that others are better at reading.
Furthermore, many children can benefit from understanding what reading difficulties are. It means that you can also help your child understand what it means to have difficulties reading (and spelling) – and what that means.
Although reading is a way to do well in school, then it doesn’t mean that you cannot improve and achieve your dreams. And it is not the same as not being able to learn anything.
You, your child and I do not learn in a similar way. Maybe your child learns by listening, while you learn by watching. Or by touching things or moving around.
Learning styles are individual. It is not certain that your child learns the best by reading, no matter if they are good at reading or not.
So my advice to you is, unsurprisingly, that you should view the challenges from your child’s point of view.
1 – Speak to your child about feeling different
The first thing your child notices is that they are different than their peers in school. It can give your child a lot of negative emotions tied to being outside “the norm”.
We all thrive on acknowledgement and connection with others. That is true for both you, your child and me.
So start helping your child speak about the emotions. Make your child realise that they are neither stupid, wrong or lazy.
Yes, I’ll admit it. It can be really hard. Where to start?
Maybe your child shuts down, turn moody or a third option, whenever you ask how things are going with school.
2 – Tell your child what it means to have reading difficulties
Your child isn’t stupid.
You can always practice and become better.
Already there, your child will see that there is hope and that the letters don’t have to dominate their lives.
The letters also don’t have to decide how your child learns the best.
That’s why I have written this article on learning style, which you can use for inspiration and make your child aware of their own possibilities.
3 – Speak with your child’s teacher and other professionals
The difficulty with learning how to read must be handled by a competent professional.
There is not a single solution for all children. Your child does not fit into a particular box of learning (speaking of learning styles!).
What helps your child becoming better at reading (and spelling) depends on what particular challenge your child has. Professionals can help to figure that out.
So speak with your child’s teacher and reading specialists on your child’s school. If you seek further help, then carefully assess any offers of “healing” that you might bump into in your research.