Sometimes, it’s hard to recognize how much growth and self-improvement your child has achieved each year.
This is especially true when we focus so much on the challenges and stressors that we are working so hard to mitigate and improve.
Children also have a difficult time recognizing that they have improved and achieved. They can sometimes feel as if someone keeps moving the goal post out further to mark success. As soon as they accomplish one marker, they are told to immediately focus on the next rung in the ladder of success.
One of the best ways to encourage our children’s growth is recognizing their steps toward self-improvement. As a parent, “What we pay attention to grows.” I encourage you to collect images, papers, and anecdotes throughout the year to help create of record of your child’s personal and academic growth. You can measure the year based on their birthday, the calendar New Year, or the academic new year.
Here is a list of suggestions for things you may want to collect. Of course, the more you include your child’s input, the better.
- Complete these questions with your child. You may want to ask older children to complete this independently and encourage them to add on any questions or thoughts they want to be captured. Their answers do not necessarily need to be restricted to academics or school.
- What is something you did this year that you think you will remember for the rest of your life?
- What challenges did you overcome?
- What new skills did you learn?
- What did you enjoy the most?
- What would you do differently if you could?
- What skills do you want to learn?
- What are the three most important things you learned this year?
- What is something that was hard for you at the start of the year but is easy now?
- In what area do you feel you made your most significant improvements?
- What stands out most of the books and movies you saw this year and why?
- What would it say if you were to write a letter of advice to yourself for the upcoming year?
- Complete the Taking Charge of My Learning handout
- Print Photos from the year that depict joyful or significant moments. It’s ok to include photos where everyone does not look their best! The purpose is to remember the time and experience.
- Include any academic tests or papers that you feel proud of either for the grade or the accomplishment. Perhaps write a note on the paper to reflect on why you are including it.
- Set one academic and one personal goal for the year to come and a plan to reach that goal. [Note: For guidance on goal setting, review Chapter 7 of my book, ADHD, Executive Function, & Behavioral Challenges in the Classroom: Managing the Impact on Learning, Motivation, and Stress
Written by Cindy Goldrich, ADHD-CCSP