Article: Parents & Teachers Sometimes Label Children
By: Amina el Shishiny
Parents and teachers sometimes label children “lazy” because they get the impression that children don’t listen, don’t concentrate, and don’t care intentionally. You’ll often hear them say “He has the ability, if he just tried harder, he could do it. He chooses not to do the work. If she would just pay attention, she would get it. After I give the instructions, he sits and stares at his paper. He is not motivated.” Children are often not aware that those things happen or have no idea why and how they happen, or what they can do about it.
Most of these symptoms can be caused by the emotional states in which children go through like pain, fatigue, being hungry, and by all kinds of things happening in the environment. Children excel at different rates and learn in different ways, their educational needs are very diverse and constantly changing. It is the teacher’s role to carefully prepare a self instructive motivational environment that appeal to and serve the diverse nature of children.
Telling the child he needs to concentrate is no help because he can’t help it and will bring only more confusion and frustration and make children start to doubt themselves. Moreover, those symptoms can also be caused if the child is suffering from a learning disability which the teacher nor the parents nor the child himself is aware of. Thus it is very important that teachers become aware of all sorts of learning obstacles that the children may be facing along their educational journey.
A child with a learning disability cannot try harder, pay closer attention, or get motivated on his own. He needs help to learn how to do those things. A learning disability is not a problem with intelligence; often the child’s IQ falls within the normal range.
The source of difficulty is in the brain. Children with a learning disability have trouble processing information which interferes in their daily activities at school. They see, hear, and understand things differently. The teacher should focus on addressing children individually instead of groups, which will help in further understanding the child’s needs and interests.
There are different types of learning disabilities that affect writing, reading, arithmetic, spelling, language….etc. So basically all of the educational skills that children normally posses are affected when a child suffers from a certain type of a learning disability.
Learning disabilities are categorized into different types according to which learning skills they affect the most. For instance, children with Dysgraphia typically labor at written work much longer than their classmates, only to produce large, uneven writing that would be appropriate for a much younger child.
Children with Dyslexia have trouble understanding written words. Children with Dyscalculia have difficulties in solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts. There are many other different types of learning disabilities that affect children’s learning abilities and motor skills.
Learning disabilities cannot be cured they can only be remediated, therefore, it is very important to detect them as soon as possible and not to confuse them with other emotional states of the child so he can start benefiting from his learning.
To sum up, it is very important for teachers and parents to realize that there’s more behind the word lazy and that they shouldn’t falsely label children just because they are inexperienced and not aware of many learning disabilities or emotional states that children may suffer from.
Teachers’ roles are not only to explain what’s written in textbooks and assign work during class and after, but also to monitor each and every child within their classroom population very carefully, try to work hard to help each child to reach his/her maximum learning ability, and try different learning styles that appeal the most to each child individually.
Parents should not doubt their kids’ abilities and believe that their kids are not smart or lazy. If they notice that their kids have learning problems, they should consult a specialist about their kids’ situation as soon as possible. If children are left untreated, the frustration and difficulties caused by the learning problems, both at home and in school, creates stress thus making children hate learning because of the mental effort they exert and still everyone around them are calling them “lazy.”
Courtesy: MSN Arabia