Moving from “stuck thinking” to “flexible thinking” with a 2nd grader.

This bright 2nd grader I was working with produces little work in math class and will not do math homework without his parents sitting there. Asking him to work independently produces fake crying, self-defeating comments, etc.

I pulled out this puzzle game yesterday and he zipped through the first 3 puzzles in 10 minutes. He even said: “I know I’m going to solve this, I can feel it in my bones”.

I pointed out to him that he solved these puzzles independently because heĀ used his “Inner Coach” and made his brain be flexible enough to get through something challenging. We call this “flexible thinking”, the opposite of “stuck thinking” which is what happens with his brain when he has to get through something he doesn’t enjoy.

The idea here was to attach a feeling of accomplishment to flexible thinking and use a real-life example of how he could make this happen.

If your son is struggling getting through non-preferred tasks please keep in perspective that these skills become VERY important as you move through school and demands increase.

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