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Wait, Don’t Worry


My daughter recently came home with a perfect score on her spelling test. She was so proud and so was I. Her success in spelling is meaningful because last year, her 1st grade teacher recommended holding her back a year because she couldn’t spell. She insisted that my daughter and I work harder to get the spelling right. But in my heart, I knew that struggling was not the way. We played with words, we spelled in the car but I refused to push her. I knew she just wasn’t there developmentally.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a parent is that when the child is ready, learning is easy so if it’s hard, give it some time. I had friends who decided when their child should be potty trained and it was painful to watch. There were accidents, crying, fighting and worst of all, the child felt bad about herself. I didn’t potty train this way. I waited until my child showed me she was ready. Potty training in our home was one of the easiest things because my kids were ready. The same is true of spelling.

We changed schools and now in 2nd grade, something has clicked in my daughter’s brain and she can spell! I knew she would get there. And she didn’t have to pick up the belief that learning is a struggle in the process.

As adults, when we are not ready for something, the issue is usually not developmental the way it is for children. Typically, it’s because we are stuck – in a fear, in the past, in a belief, etc. With children, it’s patience and allowing them to become ready. As adults, we have developed an entire industry called self-help, which really is at its core a collection of ideas and tools designed to accelerate people’s progress, to get them unstuck.

Where is your idea not ready to move on?  I think our ideas are like children in that they have their own developmental path and sometimes we need to wait for them to catch up to what we want them to be.  But as the creator, where we get stuck impacts our idea’s psychology.  

Just like children, if you push before the time is right, there will be struggle, stress, difficulty between you and your idea.

When you get activated today or frustrated with where your idea is, try something new. It can be challenging because stress limits the brain. We see fewer choices and revert to old patterns. We bang our  heads against the wall. But you have free will. You are conscious. Maybe tie a string around your finger to remind you. Or breathe to take the edge off the stress. Force a smile. I believe it must be a physical act to shift your physiology, which will shift your psychology. And then, voila, you will see solutions instead of walls. Good luck.

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