Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
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Making mistakes doesn't come easily to a lot of kids (or adults). They have a very strong drive to competence, and they know that competence, especially in things like reading, is highly valued by parents. Your son may not have a lot of experience with "just having an off day" and may be worried that his reading difficulties today mean that he's not as smart as you think he is. He may be afraid of losing your approval, of having you think less of him. He may be afraid to admit to himself that he's struggling -- because his self-concept is still very much tied up in what he can do and in what he sees of himself reflected by you. His anxiety level may have gone up and up as he got more and more frustrated, leading to difficulties with fixating and tracking text. Tension in his facial muscles or eye fatigue may be making it hard for him to focus easily and the letter may actually seem smaller and blurrier and more jumbled than they did yesterday.
If I'm getting really frustrated by my kids, they're not doing it on purpose, and generally I just need to try to see things from their perspective to understand that there are good (if sometimes misguided) reasons for their behaviour.
Mountain mama to one great kid and three great grown-ups