The Power of Yet

T asked the lifeguard if he could try the deep end test. It was his first-ever attempt. Would he make it?

I thought about this recent outing at the community pool, as it’s goal-setting time for the school year.

This year, I love how T’s teacher included the kids in the process, using the Power of Yet model.

Growth mindset is an important message for kids to learn and I appreciate how schools have shifted towards this approach in recent years.

When viewed through the eyes of an individual with FASD, and their caregivers, it is a powerful reminder that just because you can’t do something yet, it doesn’t mean it’s not achievable one day.

T gets easily frustrated when he stumbles – and in turn, it is frustrating for us as his parents – so a shift in mindset can be beneficial.

I’m aware that not everything is achievable with a positive mindset, but everything is worth a try.

T’s CYW shared proudly in her daily log that T set his own YET goals for the year.

Y (You)

  • Making friends
  • Keep hands to self
  • Sharing activities
  • Taking turns

E (Education)

  • Learn times table
  • Writing neatly
  • Spelling hard words

T (Technology)

  • How to log in on the laptop
  • Researching
  • Zoom with grandparents

After reading them, I too felt proud.

The hubby and I are also setting goals for T, through the annual Individualized Education Plan process.

The IEP is a tool the school creates to provide accommodations and supports in the learning experience to maximize T’s success.

Parents can provide input towards the IEP by completing a questionnaire and a consultation meeting with the teacher, who drafts the IEP.

It is a legal document that schools are accountable to follow.

This is our 4th IEP and it’s interesting to review the previous year’s document to see what still applies; many of them do, including highlighting his challenges around hyperactivity, focusing on and completing tasks independently and regulation.

We also make sure to highlight his many strengths, including: his bright, funny and caring nature; his aptitude for sports; and his desire to do well. We emphasized that while T may have challenging moments, experiencing his successes together can be immensely rewarding.

School is often stressful for kids with FASD and we see this in T. The days are long, there are many demands on him – and at the end of the day, he’s often had enough and is often moody and more prone to meltdowns.

We get it. It’s a work in progress. Annoying and hard as hell to experience, but we get it.

We try to provide opportunities to destress through things he enjoys – park time, biking, swimming and swim lessons on weekends.

I continue the weekend learning with him but keep it fairly light. We read one picture book together and practice math drills.

We need to work on his reading stamina and interest but his growth is undeniable. And it’s wonderful to see him start to learn the times table through practicing with flash cards I made using dollar store index cards.

Question on the front, answer on the back.

The Power of Yet is a good reminder that every day or every moment doesn’t have to be a home run or gold medal worthy.

The try is often the most important part of the learning journey – and to break it into smaller steps.

And during this recent weekend’s deep end test, T tried valiantly. His strokes and breathing technique were sloppy, he paused longer than he should’ve at the end of the first of two laps, and he didn’t finish his second lap – but he was close.

So he didn’t pass.

But I saw how determined he was and praised him for a solid first try at a difficult test.

I told him with utmost sincerity and belief that with constant practice, he will be in the deep end by next summer.

24 thoughts on “The Power of Yet

    1. Thank you Serena. I know you can relate with the hopes and fears of parenting a child with additional needs. I appreciate your words of encouragement.

    1. Absolutely!

      Speaking of not yet, T came to me excitedly this morning saying, “Did you know that you can pet cheetahs in Africa?” All because of YouTube video. He now wants to go Africa. 😆 Maybe we’ll cross paths one day!

  1. It is nice to hear that education is changing with the times. I couldn’t agree more about how having a growth mindset is healthy and important, especially for kids. Good for T for thinking ahead and creating some YET goals for himself over the school year, these are all fantastic things to work towards. I love the homemade flash cards! Your writing is so neat!

    1. Thanks Linda. And baby Wandering Canadian will have an even more awesome school system to go into one day. 😊 It’s so funny you mentioned my neat writing – you noted that before – it can be quite sloppy but I figured I should role model neater writing to T. 😆

      1. Let’s hope so! At the very least we’ll get to take advantage of cheaper day care (assuming we can find a spot)! I’d be curious to see what your sloppy writing looks like. I’m sure it’s still neater than most people’s writing.

  2. YET, is wonderful – I had not read about it – great tool! When I was presenting for School District Chairpeople, I always stressed how important it is to state the positives, the gains, and the hopes. So many families walk into an IEP meeting only to hear all about failures and needs. Another wonderful Post!

    1. Thanks Vickie. I agree that schools sometimes just start those important IEP meetings by talking about the problems. I always let the teacher talk first and depending on how they approach and start the conversation, it tells me how they perceive and approach T in the classroom. This is why advocacy is so so important.

      Hope you and your family are enjoying the start to your fall!

  3. I’m sure the YET lesson not only is applicable to children, but also to adults. Reading this made me think of how many moments there have been where I could’ve used this approach to handle things better. It’s really nice and sweet that you still praised T for his effort — I believe appreciating the little things along the way will go a big way in the future.

    1. Thanks Bama. It’s an important reminder for all us, adults too. 😊 The little things certainly do add up and it’s these moments that I always go back to in the long run. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  4. I knew I was going to love this post from just the title! So good – and the CYW’s YET list is wonderful. As far as grumpy and more prone to meltdowns at the end of the day – yep, living that here — and it happens to my kids too.. 🙂

    That’s an awesome try on the deep-end test and the year over year growth. I love your thoughtful de-stressing activities. My hat’s off to you all and T. So inspiring! <3

    1. Thanks Wynne. I think we’re going on similar journeys – you times 2, so we see parallels in each other’s journeys. 💕🙏 And as a parent yourself, you know we’ve already gone off the deep end in more ways than one. 🤣 Enjoy the rest of your week!

  5. Those are amazing YET goals T has set! School is so stressful for any child but add FASD and I don’t know how you do it Ab! It is so obvious, with what you have shared over time, how well T is progressing. You brought back so many memories with the index cards! My daughter wrote all her test study questions on them and still did though NP school. I should have bought stock in them! It hurts us as much as it does our children when they don’t pass something they worked so hard on. I guess with swimming the important thing is keeping him safe in the water and how hard he tried. Tell him good job!

    1. Thanks Diane. I hope so. He had a bit of an unfocused day yesterday and needed to take a sensory room break – but I guess that’s all of us. We can’t have a gold star day everyday. 🙏

      Index cards are the best. It’s very old school but I used them as a student too and now using them to help T. If it ain’t broke… 😊

      I could sense T’s disappointment with not passing the deep end test but I was also glad in a way. It taught him a good lesson about not always getting things on your first try and to keep practicing. That lesson may be more valuable in the long run than the victory of success.

  6. I think it’s amazing that such a tiny word like “yet” can hold so much promise and power Ab. It really signifies an open door of sorts and endless possibilities in all directions. There is so much T can and will achieve as he grows and matures. I hope he holds onto yet always and lets himself go to wonderful places with the knowledge that there really is so much to explore 🙂

    1. Thanks Deb. It’s a wonderful word. I’ve written about the growth mindset concept many times and it never ceases to be inspiring both as a parent and as an adult myself. And like you, I hope T hangs onto this word for as long as possible too. It will certainly and most definitely open doors to wonderful places to explore as you said. 😊🙏

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