Elevate A New Form of Upliftment for Girls by Ramita Anand, Founder
Our children failing to hit academic targets in school is a major cause of concern for many parents and teachers. When we first hear that our children are struggling to succeed, it’s easy to assume that they aren’t working hard enough. For many parents, receiving a phone call from a teacher to discuss their child’s progress (or lack thereof) can send us into a paralysis of fear and panic.
Many of us immediately react by blaming our child for being lazy, not diligent enough, or unmotivated. Our knee-jerk reaction may inspire us to schedule extra tuition time, sign them up for booster lessons, or find the nearest Kumon or enrichment centre in hopes that this assistance will help them hit the desired academic targets.
Invisible Barriers in the Classroom
There are times when a lack of diligence and motivation is the reality, and extra support and tuition can add value by targeting subjects that require assistance. However, these programs aren’t necessarily right for everyone. On many occasions, not trying ‘hard enough’ is not the reason for a child’s lack of progress. There can be, and very commonly are greater invisible barriers to a child’s achievement in school.
This is not new information for many of us. We all understand that there are many complexities surrounding a child’s development and brain formation, which continues until around the age of 25. However, as parents, we don’t always realise that issues of brain development and processing are not always within our child’s control. It’s not fair to blame them for failing to make valid connections in a meaningful way when their brain is still developing in this area.
How This Affects Girls
There are countless barriers to our children’s success in school. Some of the most common include a lack of confidence and self-esteem, which is far more likely to present itself in girls rather than their male peers in the impressionable pre-adolescent years.
Teachers can easily create a perception that a girl is not keeping up in class. This is then validated by her parents, who believe that the only way to rectify the situation is to sit their daughter down for more lessons and extra study time. This fails to address the root of the problem.
How Can We Tear Down Barriers for Our Daughters?
Extra lessons won’t break down the barriers that need to fall for the student to be ready to learn. If we want to get to the root of the problem, we must examine the barriers that prevent our daughters from learning.
Many different barriers exist today, and many overlap in ways that can make identifying them complex. However, some to consider include:
- Underlying learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, issues with concentration, attention, focus, working memory, anxiety, sensory overload, or auditory processing concerns.
- Grief or loss of family members
- Family move
- Parental pressure
- Parental absence when long work hours or travel keep parents away from their children.
- Friendship concerns and/or bullying concerns which can be amplified by social media.
- Economic pressures- children pick up on our unconscious attitudes and may compare themselves to their more advantaged peers.
- Fatigue – lack of sleep or restful sleep.
- Healthy diets – access to and awareness of healthy foods is key.
- Mental health concerns- not feeling good enough or having the self-worth to believe in oneself.
Many professionals can help deal with all of the areas mentioned above. As the parent of a child with learning challenges, I have personally consulted many specialists. Employing their expertise is crucial, but these barriers need to be fully understood before we can begin to evaluate their effect on our children.
My Role with ELEVATE
In my role with ELEVATE, I strive to help parents understand the circumstances and barriers behind their daughters’ learning challenges before they hit walls of despair or worry. We strive to intervene before health and academic concerns require more intense therapy or interventions.
I want to teach your girls skills they can use to create awareness around emotional literacy, and life skills that will help set them up for challenges and give them the resilience to tackle tough lessons. Not just in school, but in life as well.
I want them to understand that failing won’t break you, and can indeed help make us into better, more adjusted people. If we learn how to get up when we fall, we will be far better set up in life than being too scared to fail.
ELEVATE works to cultivate and develop 6 key attributes that will shape your daughter’s development as superheroes. These include:
- Emotional Intelligence
We can lift each other, support one another, and show our girls compassion and empathy. That is the work I aim to provide at ELEVATE.RA.
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