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When you feel discouraged ...

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When you, as the parent/teacher, feel discouraged about your kiddo’s progress, or lack thereof, what do *you* do to help yourself?  

(I’ve got a dyslexic kid in lower elementary, if that matters. Combined with the change in seasons, I think I feel discouragement creeping in and want to have some ideas on hand.)

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Focus on his strengths.
My DS was good at math even though he couldn’t read for what seemed like a long time. He attended a school that allowed him to accelerate in math even when he needed extra help with reading and writing.

Strengths may not be academic. My DS is great with those little twisty metal wire puzzle things and other 3-D type puzzles that I cannot do at all. I remember buying him a wooden puzzle thing at a toy store, and he had figured it out before we got back to the car. 


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Besides focusing on strengths, we tried additional activities that they wanted to do, such as music lessons. I also focused on the benefit my kids were getting from their therapies and the adults invested in them--OT, PT, speech, tutors, etc. My kids have benefitted a great deal from having interested adults around.

Lower elementary + learning issue is just a hard time. I hope you are being kind to yourself. 

I also have rediscovered how much I love doing small projects like knitting, cross-stitch, etc.

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One, I take a break and take care of myself. Crispy burnt out Mama ain't helping no one. If that means we take a week off and camp, go see Grandma, clean, watch movies, watch a tv series and call it school, whatever, that's what we do. It also means get your thyroid and vitamin D run.

Then I make sure I'm using best practices, look for foundational glitches that got missed that I couldn't see because I was too close and fried, and then set mini goals with new materials and rewards. Rewards for ME, not him. Like we're gonna do this for 6 weeks and then we're going to do X that I want. (Take another break, go somewhere, have a party, whatever works for you.)

I guess I'm not feeling very intuitive on the discouragement thing. I speak a lot of truth to myself. (He has ASD2, of course things are going like mud and it seems like we'll be doing this forever.) I also have a few songs of encouragement I sing when I need to talk to myself straight about keeping going.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgvHLIy4l6o  obvious modern Disney

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AQr8ZSU5OQ  favorite setting of this hymn by Bunyan. Frankly, can't get more discouraging than thinking about Bunyan's situation (in prison, blind daughter, the whole structure out to get him). When I think of him and his courage in the face of disaster and seeming failure, I face my own and march. I sing this a lot honestly. We memorized the verses in church one year.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Be_a_Pilgrim  the text if you wish to sing it.


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Well vitamin D is technically a hormone. Affects sleep, mood, energy, all sorts of things. If you have a defect of one or both alleles on your VDR (vitamin D receptor gene), then you might not be adequately converting sunshine to vitamin D. So even people in Florida sometimes need vitamin D, lol. Vitamin D also needs K2 to work well, so I take an oil based vitamin D and some capsules of K2 to make sure it works properly. I keep my levels at the top end of the normal range. I take it in the morning, and I take it daily, even during the summer. In the summer I take a lower dose, and right about now I can feel my levels dropping and I switch over to my winter dose, which I'll stay at till spring.

So yes, if you're feeling more down right now, it would be a good time to be asking about D. D is also part of the methylation cycle, so someone with an MTHFR defect might need to take extra methyl donors. For someone with a COMT defect (me, ds) pulling down the methyls can be helpful even. But if you've take it and you were like wow didn't feel right after that, then I would be looking at your MTHFR genes and methylation status. If you have genetic results from 23andme, it's easy to run the raw data file through www.knowyourgenetics.com for a free analysis. You'll see some extra things, like what form of Bs you might benefit from, etc.

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How do I deal with when I am burnt out and feeling miserable regarding the situation with the ones struggling?

I focus on the ones who can learn well a bit but now they are off to UC Berkeley, I am not teaching them anymore. But in the past I felt good that I knew I wasn't a pathetic teacher/homeschool mom. But really they are just easy to teach 😉  Currently I am a behavior therapist working with clients online and my clients are moving forward faster than my own son. Sigh. But that is a slight boost in my self confidence. Still heart breaking at the same time but it helps sometimes. 

Also I would get out of my funk by finding a new hopeful method/curriculum etc. In my heart I know it won't be the told answer but maybe it might take off one of the layers and we can move back to where we were and continue on. For example we would plug along and hit a rock. Then I would find another resource that might help with the hump and then we go back to where we were and keep moving forward so long as I remember that we left off from there lol

Now with my last one....I am on here to mine for more resources (hope) and advice and seeing things another way. 

A good bath is always helpful. Time with husband too. 

Sometimes it is just sitting down and coming up with new schedule or routine that is more balanced that helps me get out of the funk. 

A new friend too or old ones. 

But mostly, it is just being good to myself and providing basic self care. 


Edited by happycc
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