When my son was in fifth grade, he was an excellent student, but struggled in his “keyboarding” class (that’s what we used to call “typing” class). So, I started to sit near him while he practiced ten minutes a day on the keyboarding exercises from his workbook. After a few sessions, he wanted to stop. “I hate this,” he said, and then gave me what he thought was the killer argument: “It’s hurting my self-esteem!”
Here, I thought, was a teachable moment! I explained that self-esteem does NOT come from choosing only activities that come easily or at which we can naturally succeed. Self-esteem comes from persistence, sticking with tasks that are hard, working through them, and attaining the feeling of accomplishment that comes from pushing through to success at the other end. He heard me, and he “got” it.
That life lesson served him well in bigger challenges that came later in his life. He’s now a thriving 35-year-old (although I’m pretty sure he still does most of his typing with two fingers).
A Teachable Moment With My Young Son