Friday, February 14, 2014

The step ladder to confidence

Ages ago I wrote a post about getting our little miss ready to start school and how we were going to approach it all. If you want to read it, click away here -

One of the things I talked about at the time was the documentation I had collected that would give us some tips and tricks. One was the Cool Little Kids, Anxiety Prevention Program Parent's Manual from Macquarie University.

This program is for parents of pre-school aged kids who a little more anxious, shy or inhibited, than most other kids their age. It is to help parents learn a number of skills and exercises to reduce excessive anxiety and increase confidence.

We didn't actually do the program, but when I find the booklet online I snapped it up.

The booklet follows the course and includes exercises on listing what your child gets anxious about, in our case, it is separation, what anxieties you have that could contribute and ways to assist the child in overcoming them. It goes on to teach the use of step ladders.

The concept is that if you break a big thing down into smaller chunks it becomes more achievable, which totally makes sense, right!

So, little miss and I sat down the other day to create her step ladder for school drop-off.

The ultimate goal is for her to line up with her class and then walk to class with her teacher and without me. There are six steps to reach this ultimate goal. At each step there is a reward, the harder the step, the bigger the reward.

The first step is saying hello to her friends and their parents. The second step is playing with her friends. The third step is to sit in line while I sit on the silver bench. The fourth step is to sit in the line while I stand with the other parents. The fifth step is to walk from the library with her teacher and class (which is half way to her classroom). And finally the last step is to walk all the way from the COLA (Covered Outdoor Learning Area) to her classroom with her teacher and class, without me.

We have taped the step ladder to her bedroom mirror. At night, she talks about trying to get to the next step and therefore the next reward. She is really proud of herself her achieving her rewards. And we are so proud of her.

Currently we are at Step 2! She has received five stickers as rewards so far, which means this morning she got $2 to spend at the canteen. She was so excited.

There is a long way for us to go. There will be back slides and there will be great strides forward. But we will get there. Together, we will get there.

Have you used step ladders to confidence before?

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