Monday, April 06, 2009
He Wears The Chain
My son has never had a good internal sense of time passing. When I said it was time to work on a certain subject, my son always wanted to know how long it would take and how much more work we had for the day. He also is forgetful and inattentive, so even though the answers rarely varied he asked the same questions daily because he didn't remember from one day to the next. I thought it might help if I gave him a visual and tactile depiction to represent what we needed to accomplish for school each day. I found some interlocking links and selected one link to represent each school task for the day. I told Josh he could remove one link each time he completed a subject. That way, he could see and touch a visual representation of how much more schoolwork he needed to complete. I thought he might even become more motivated when he saw the chain getting shorter as the day went on. One day, Josh was having a particularly "off" day. We all have off days, but when my struggling learner has an off day, it's really OFF. Josh just couldn't seem to focus or sustain his attention to anything. By the end of the day, he had draped the links around his shoulders to help himself remember what he was supposed to be working on. All I could think of was Marley's ghost from Dicken's The Christmas Carol when Scrooge asks about the chains Marley has and the reply is "I wear the chains I forged in life." Poor Josh! He looked like he was wearing the chains he forged during the school day, and that was just for one day. Imagine if we carried over all the unfinished links to the next day and the next. Soon, Josh would buckle under the weight of so many unfinished tasks. We had to start each day fresh. I am reminded of the Bible verse in Lamentations 3:23,23 "The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness." Each day is a new day, with new challenges and opportunities. Let's try to help our kids without dragging any chains from unfulfilled tasks from the past and focus on each new day as a chance to try again.