Home › Facebook Group › General Discussion Board › How can I motivate my four-year-old to focus for her gifted and talented test? › Reply To: How can I motivate my four-year-old to focus for her gifted and talented test?
Congratulations! You are doing such great work with your little girl. I am excited to think about how she will blossom as you continue to pour in safety and connection.
As to your question about motivating her to ‘do well’, I think it would be great for you to explore what that means to you.
The Hand in Hand perspective is that children are always doing the very best they can in the moment. Our thinking is based in the brain science that tells us that children have more access to their best thinking when they feel safe and connected.
So, you could just DECIDE that no matter what happens, no matter what the results, that she did well. That would be a huge gift to give her and yourself. That would take all the pressure off of you and her. As we’ve talked about – pressure = feeling unsafe = not being able to think.
You’ll most likely need to take this idea of DECIDING she did well no matter what happens, to your Listening Partner. Even though you’ve decide to believe that she’s going to do her best – her best may not get her into this program. The only way for you to take the pressure off her and increase the safety is for you to cry hard about that possibility and be OK with it. It’s the only way you can provide true safety for her. Again, pressure = feeling unsafe = not being able to think.
As for bribing her to do well…. Again, what does ‘do well’ mean? If you’ve determined that she will get a reward from you if she gets into the program, that sets you both up for possible failure, damage to your relationship and damage to her heart. She could answer all the questions and still not get into the program. What will that mean in terms of the reward, in terms of your relationship and in terms of your view of yourself?
I know I sound like a broken record, but the first step is for you to decide that whatever happens is fine and that whatever she does, that will have been her best. Secondly, is it possible for you to advocate for her taking the test in another location or another room? I don’t know if you’ve paid for this test, but surely everyone wants her to feel comfortable and safe.
Third, you’ve said that worksheets are not her thing. How about making a game out of doing worksheets? There was a Mom who had to take her daughter to get shots as they were traveling out of the country. She tried playing Dr. office games to see if she could get some giggles going, but her daughter was still terrified. I gave her the idea that if they played Dr. office and her daughter gave her a shot, then that shot gave Mom super powers!!! It made her Mom do a cartwheel, or whirl in circles or do a funny dance. That got the giggles going and the day of the shots, her daughter was relaxed and compliant. Maybe you do a worksheet problem and then you do a funny dance, or you do worksheets under the fort you made or she finishes a problem and she gets to tickle you…. (we don’t tickle our kids in HIH because it’s overpowering, but we can let our kids tickle us)
As I talked about, rewards create distance and conditional attention, conditional love. Playing Connection Games and Affection Games as you do the worksheet creates Laughter – which releases fear – and she gets YOU. What she needs more than anything is YOU! She gets your full unconditional love and attention believing that she always does her best. That’s what will give her a good life!
I hope all that helps a bit. You really are on a good path. Great going, good Mama! Keep up the amazing connection and play. Whatever happens, she’s already getting the goodies – which is YOU!
Peace & Smiles,