Thoughtful Kids in a Rapid Sound-Bites World

Boy leans his forehead against a chalkboard while he thinks about a math problem
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Our son was struggling academically. Despite my attempts to teach him reading comprehension strategies, he couldn't recall basic information from a passage he'd just read.

I decided to have him evaluated for a learning disability. I learned that his brain needed a little more time than average to process new information. Rushing him and pressuring him to quickly spit out information paralyzed him.

Quick vs. Deliberate

Kids are increasingly pressured by our media-saturated world to react quickly to information — their minds are flooded by rapid-fire sound bites and info-nuggets. But there is nothing wrong with a deliberate thinker.

My task was to teach him to capitalize on how his brain worked, teaching him to slow down while studying so his brain could process information.

Processing information 

I now remind him to read his textbook passages very slowly, maybe even twice, and to take his time to think about any questions given in the text that are related to the material. This way, he has time to process and respond to questions with confidence.

But I think the greatest tool I can equip him with is the ability to advocate for himself. When he feels put on the spot, I am teaching him to respond with, "Let me think about that." He is learning how to see thoughtfulness as a good thing, especially in a quick-quip world. Slowing everything down has been transformative for him.

This article first appeared in the August/September 2017 issue of Focus on the Family magazine and was originally titled " 'Let Me Think About That.' " If you enjoyed this article, read more like it in Focus on the Family's marriage and parenting magazine. Get this publication delivered to your home by subscribing to it for a gift of any amount.
© 2017 by Tammie Haveman. Used by permission.

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