Q: Finally something a little more lighthearted: How do you make school fun? This might seem flippant, but I mean it more as a way to explore changing the mindset around school from being a kind of learning prison (my own kid’s words sometimes!) to a place where you’re able to explore ideas or expand potential in an exciting way.
A: The only person we can change is ourselves and this is a matter of changing the way we see and think about things. For instance, seeing school as a “learning prison” brings negative emotions and creates a negative attitude towards learning activities, assignments and teachers. As a result, school becomes a tedious chore that a child tries to avoid at all costs. According to experts at the National Science Foundation, the average person has thousands of thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative and 95% are exactly the same thoughts as the day before. We need to make an effort to stop and challenge negative thoughts. Talk2Alex® app provides some useful strategies that can help with that. One of my favourite ones is re-framing negative thoughts in a positive light. For instance, instead of saying: “School is boring” ask yourself: “I wonder what new things I will learn today?” It creates positive feelings and a growth mindset. Counting blessings, making a list of things we are grateful for or just smiling can make the day better and brighter.