‘Feeling good’ builds self-esteem. Sylvia Rimm says, “The surest path to positive self-esteem is to succeed at something which one perceived would be difficult.” Facing challenges that are age-appropriate for your child is crucial for learning.
The deliciousness of a warm, sunny day lures many to the beach. Scooping up sand with a spade, compacting it in a beach bucket and inverting it to make a sand castle can occupy young children for hours. Decorating it with pebbles and filling the moat with sea water only adds to the concentration, engagement and joy. Magical moments like these boost children’s confidence.
This activity is age-appropriate for young children: but what happens if the bar is raised and the child is expected to produce sand sculptures? Dennis Massoud grew up on the Sunshine Coast and he amazes audiences with his work in the sand. He is a world champion. I have marvelled at his talent: but to expect a young child to produce at this level would be unrealistic.
Csikszentmihalyi explains this concept of flow so well in his graph. Ability without challenge leads to boredom. Challenge without the commensurate skills leads to anxiety. Matching abilities with appropriate challenges helps children “smile on the inside”.
Chevron enjoys flow. Despite interruptions, Chevron exhibits optimal engagement with his tasks. He is fascinated by shapes and numbers and his natural environment. The challenge that he faces stretches his abilities. There’s plenty of room for thinking. Finding a solution brings him joy and happiness. For Chevron, being ‘in the moment’, totally absorbed, helps him to smile on the inside.
DOWNLOAD IN THE MOMENT EXERCISE
Rimm, Sylvia B. https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/165586 Cited 06/10/2018
Sunshine Coast Daily. 2nd Oct 2017. https://www.google.com.au/search?q=sand+sculptures+2018&oq=s&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i60l2j0j35i39j69i60.3912j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
Csikszentmihalyi, Professor. Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience.
van Donge, Gloria (2017). Catch On in The Gifted Kid Book Series.
Answers to Blog 28 – I hope you’ve had fun making stuff!