Speech Therapy Motivation Lesson from Meet The Robinsons
“How does one become a butterfly?" she asked. "You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”
While my daughter was at dancing lessons, my son and I went for a walk to crunch on the fall leaves and to tickle the trees. As usual, this 15 month old little boy insisted on pushing the stroller. Without exception, he continued to push it right into each tree despite trying to keep it on the trail. This happened at least 32 times. Why does he keep trying? It reminded me of a few months earlier when he was learning to walk. He would take a step and fall, take a step and fall, take a step and fall. I thought out loud, “Why doesn’t he just give up?” My eight year old daughter, who has more insight than I do, quickly responded, “’cause he hasn’t learned how to give up yet”. What a powerful moment – he hasn’t learned to give up yet.
As Speech-Language Pathologists, we witness it everyday...the resilience of kids. In speech therapy, we might ask them to repeat sounds and words over and over again. Even though the skill is challenging, they try, try, and try. We are trained to help them feel successful as we carefully select a target level that is coupled with our enthusiastic ‘reinforcement’. As they become more independent with the task, we fade away the reinforcer - teaching them that they have all they need within themselves to do it well.
Inspired by these kids, I have decided to unlearn how to give up. I have answered my own question, “How many times do I have to get back up?” My answer: “As many times as I fall”.
Consider watching the Disney movie called Meet the Robinsons. By the end of the show, you will see how fun it is to cheer yourself on while you try new things, make messes, and unlearn how to give up.
Marnee Brick, MSc
Speech-Language Pathologist and Director of of Speech Therapy
TinyEYE Therapy Services (Speech Therapy Telepractice)