Kids are being told they are unmotivated, stupid, and lazy when they don't measure up to the other kids in the classroom or at home. In reality, they are struggling to accomplish tasks that don't come easy to them. Some children are judged not by their own abilities, but by others who have differing abilities, strengths, and motivation.
The notion that, "Kids do well if they want to" is incorrect. Kids do well if they can. In this video, Rethinking Challenging Kids-Where There's a Skill There's a Way | J. Stuart Ablon offers a fresh way to discuss solutions for raising successful children. He identified three areas where the focus needs to be redirected with children who are struggling to perform: Problem Solving, Flexibility, and Frustration Tolerance.
I see youth in treatment struggling in these three areas as well and have determined that children are getting the wrong end of the stick when it comes to diagnosis and treatment. One of the after affects of Covid-19 is called Long-haulers, which is described as "brain fog" that lingers long after the visible effects of the virus are gone. Research is finding that some people, including children, are experiencing cognitive decline following exposure to Covid and not just in those who were seriously impacted or hospitalized. Long-haulers disproportionately affects women and girls who can be mislabeled as emotional or hysterical by the medical profession. Often, doctors will incorrectly diagnose the girls as depressed or bipolar and treat them with medication that only exacerbates the problem by causing in some patients the side effect of suicidal ideation. Children needing emotional support and understanding are being bullied into performing at a degree beyond their ability, especially if they performed much better prior to Covid. They are unaware of the challenges their children are experiencing and hopelessly watch them become more withdrawn, less communicative, and discouraged as they fail to meet everyone's expectations.
Children are exposed to many toxic things in their life and brain fog from Covid is real. Considering what Mr. Ablon offers combined with the consequences of Covid, children need even more help with problem solving due to Long-haulers. Parents need to find flexible ways to lower the expectations so they can be successful with the small things. Brain fog can make even the most simple tasks, like putting dishes away, a mental struggle resulting in exhaustion. In an article in the on line magazine The Atlantic, Ed Yong writes, "Few researchers know that viruses can cause cognitive disorders in younger people, so few study their effects." I believe children are being victimized by the after affects of Covid which is further compounded by parents and teachers who are not recognizing they are hurting, feeling discouraged, and need help not condemnation.