On December 28th, 2010, Dr. Miller was interviewed on the “Never Give Up” radio show. In this 50 minute interview, Dr. Miller discusses how parents can be excellent mentors for their special needs children in order to lead them to strong academic performance and success in life.
“If you don’t clean up your room right now, you’re grounded!” Ellen yelled at her daughter, Brittany. Brittany rolled her eyes—again—and stalked off toward her room.
This running feud was getting to Ellen. She was at her wits end. She began to dread coming home from work because she knew the bickering and yelling would start as soon as she walked through the door.
Ellen knew she had lost her way as a parent, and she even began to feel that Brittany didn’t have the same level of respect and love for her that she used to have.
Ellen knew she needed a different approach but she didn’t know what to do…
February is Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month and National Parent Leadership Month.
Children with special learning needs have experienced more failure and disappointment than other children. Parenting children with special learning needs can be difficult, and calls forth from their parents an extra measure of care in “planting the seeds of greatness.”
Seeds of “greatness” grow into strong, confident children—skilled learners who make bold choices and expect the best for their lives. They see setbacks as temporary and know they can find ways to surmount the obstacles that present themselves.
Children grown from greatness develop a “winner” mentality that supports them when life becomes challenging. Children grown from these seeds problem-solve; they test out theories; they create wonderful new platforms from which to explore and conquer life; they carve out a strong personal identity. They reject thoughts of failure. They create. They succeed. These children lead. Read more
Children who live with failure experience negative feelings such as shame, isolation, and anger. These students need guidance to develop personal skills that support their success. According to research conducted by the Frostig Center in Pasadena, six personal attributes form the core characteristics that contribute to success for special needs students. Successful individuals do not necessarily have all six of these qualities. These attributes are:
Self-awareness and self-acceptance
Individuals who understand their strengths and limitations, who realize that they have many talents, and who do not define themselves in terms of their weaknesses, are more resilient to life’s challenges than those who see themselves as overall failures.
Engaging in a variety of activities and interacting with different types of people encourages individuals to understand the power they have to create their own lives. Proactive (as opposed to reactive) individuals believe in their capacity to achieve. They look for opportunities to grow. They do not blame others for their problems; instead they take responsibility for their own part in their situation and realize they can change their circumstances with their own actions.
Max had dreamed of going to college ever since his father told him, “Everyone in our family goes to college.” Max related well to people. They trusted him. He had a head for business. His manner inspired confidence. Max wanted to major in business. But, in order to be admitted to business college, he needed to pass a statistics class.
Max began to have problems in math in first grade. His parents sat up with him night after night as he struggled with his homework. One day when Max was in third grade he screamed and tore up his math homework, refusing to go to school until he knew all the multiplication facts. His father yelled. His mother cried.
In sixth grade Max couldn’t make sense of factor trees. He couldn’t figure out how to solve equations. His parents found a tutor who came to the house twice a week. Max did a little better the second semester. He got a C, although the F he received the first semester embarrassed him so much he never told any of his friends. Read more
Concerned parents frequently ask how they can help their children become smarter, more successful learners. The surprising news is that research in the area of human emotions provides a blueprint for the kinds of parenting techniques that increase children’s intelligence!
Because of the way the brain is wired, emotional states run our lives, whether we like it or not. Emotional states are constantly in flux, and are easily influenced.
Learning occurs when brains grow new cells in response to the environment. Emotions such as pleasure and joy encourage brain cell development. When children are happy and level-headed, they learn and remember more.