Stressed about the challenges the new year will pose for your child with learning new skills and reaching new goals? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Here at KidPT, we’re here to help your child to reach and exceed their potential. Just like we use every tool at our disposal to help our kiddos become successful here in the clinic, we believe parents should be empowered to do the same at home! To help you to help your child on their path toward success, we’ve written down some helpful hacks and philosophies that we use in our PT sessions every day that you can start to implement at home: 

  1. Provide positive feedback for a job well done
    1. When you see your child is particularly good at something, or if you see them improving in an area they were previously less confident in, make sure to give them lots of positive reinforcement. This will help build their confidence! Confidence is a key driver to give them the agency to push themselves further and continue to reach new heights.
  2. Make sure feedback is specific
    1. For any feedback, whether it be positive or constructive, make sure you are letting your child know WHAT part of the task you are complimenting or wishing to tweak. A generic “Good Job” doesn’t give them the information they need to repeat the good thing they did or to adapt areas where they need more growth. A good example of specific feedback is “Nice job walking up the stairs using only one hand”, because you are telling them exactly what about the task they just did that you thought was stupendous, and then they know to do it again next time!
  3. Try breaking down challenging tasks
    1. For any task that is hard for your child, try breaking down the task and attempting to introduce small parts of it rather than having them try to achieve the whole task on their first go. Then continue to add on small parts until they have built up to the whole task. This concept is called “scaffolding” or “forward chaining” and is used by many teachers and therapists alike to set up a framework for new tasks to make them more attainable. Start with a part of the task the child has down, and build on that piece. If trying this with your child, make sure you demonstrate the whole task first, so they know what they are working toward. If you are not quite sure how to break down a certain task for success, ask your physical therapist where you should start, and we’ll be able to guide this process!
  4. Remember, everyone is different, and that is GOOD!
    1. Every single person on this earth is very different from the next, and that’s how the world was meant to be! Each individual person brings something new and diverse to the table, and this is how the world learns and grows. Your child’s strengths enhance this world and though they might have room to grow in other areas, so does the rest of the world!
  5. Breathe, you got this! 
    1. Don’t forget to take some time for yourself and to affirm to yourself that everything is going to be okay. Just by taking the time to be informed you are taking steps to supporting your child, and that is what is important.

You’ve got this, and so does your child, and together you can be a confidence boosting TEAM!