My first-grader had a book report to finish after school. We had only 20 minutes and it usually took my son about 15 minutes to finish this kind of assignment. For my pre-reader, writing was the most challenging task, and he just didn’t like doing it. So usually, he drew pictures and I wrote down sentences for him. Also, he was tired after six hours of being at school and he would rather play by the time he came home.
So that day, instead of bugging him about this book report, I set the timer for a three-minute Special Time first and invited him to play. I said, “Let’s play whatever you want to play!” He wanted to play his favorite monster game. So I chased him around in the house, almost catching him sometimes. I made sure he could trick me into catching a curtain, and dance away from me again and again. We ran around and he was laughing a lot. My younger son joined in, and he did something goofy to make my older son laugh, too. The timer went off and we stopped after one more round of the chase game.
My son was fine with ending the Special Time, but when I reminded him about the book report, he went to sit in front of the report but showed no sign of working on it. I had to go away to take care of my younger one for a minute, thinking that he might not be able to finish his homework.
But when I came back, much to my surprise, he was writing sentences already, and he even finished with a little time to spare. This was the very first time he wrote the book report on his own! I was happy and proud to see this new progress after connection and play rather than unpleasant nagging.
—Keiko Sato-Perry, Certified Parenting by Connection Instructor
Listen to a podcast of a recent teleseminar “Parenting: Going Deeper”, in which Keiko presented.