Learning is a vulnerable process for a child. It does not matter whether your child is academically advanced or is behind, the change associated with learning can be scary and frustrating. To impact growth in the most profound way, a trust must be established among the participants. A kind of trust that allows to make mistakes, explore possibilities, ask questions, break old habits, and try something new.
Through our work at After School University, we found that announcing these 6 commitments at the beginning of the learning process builds a great foundation for an environment that is nurturing, safe, and non-judgmental.
#4. State Quality
Here is a letter that you could share with your child as early in your process as possible. If shared in writing, consider following up with a discussion. Simplify the language for the younger kids while addressing each area.
*******A Letter to Inspire Growth While Gaining Trust*******
Dear <Name of a Child>,
You are a unique and brilliant individual. There is nothing you can’t achieve. You are on your way to becoming an outstanding leader, and this world is a better place because of you. I am so honored to be part of your life and to help you grow. I take my role very seriously. Here are my commitments to you as we work together on making you even stronger.
1. To always believe in you.
My end goal will always be seeing you move to heights never imagined.
2. To care about you.
I will champion your interests, your passions, your sparks! You are a gift to this world.
3. To challenge you.
I may be hard on you, because I have high standards for you. I will not allow you to say, “I can’t” or “I don’t.” I will not let you fail. I will not give you answers to difficult problems, but I will help you seek and find them. Together, we will learn how to plan and make every day count.
4. To insist on the little things.
I will sometimes seem picky — and that is because I want you to have the habits of a champion. Getting the little things right will make the bigger things easier, like treating people well and following through on your commitments.
5. To support you and never betray your confidence.
I will never make negative comments about you. I will not say things behind your back. I will talk with you, face-to-face, with respect, candor and love.
6. To trust you.
Like all of us, you will make mistakes and have bad days. They will not shake my belief that you are doing your very best. I praise you for your bravery and am forever grateful for your effort!
Thank you so much for the opportunity to work with you! Please keep me accountable at all times. If I ever fall short of my commitment to you, let me know.
<Your Name or Your Signature>