Is Your Child Frustrated with Writing?

Is Your Child Frustrated with Writing?

The following continues our series of questions commonly asked by mothers teaching thier children to write.

Q: My three-year-old can become quite frustrated in trying to write. What can I do to make her attempts more successful?

A: You have observed in your little girl the natural great effort involved in manual writing. We consider writing to be the most sophisticated of all neurological functions. It combines the need for good visual convergence, with fine manual coordination, both tasks requiring lots of oxygen to the brain. You can best help your daughter by minimizing the effort necessary to write successfully.

First of all, plan to have very short sessions so that she can quickly do her best and repeatedly do so throughout the day in many brief lessons (seconds rather than minutes). Long sessions are fatiguing and serve to maximize the effort involved in writing.

Provide your child with writing implements and a writing surface that promotes ease. Markers are preferable to pencil or chalk that breaks all too soon and often. Make certain that writing instruments are sized for your child’s small hand. Smooth strong surfaces such as erasable boards are preferable to thin paper which easily rips and causes frustration.

Tiny kids have an easier time at writing in an upright position, at an easel or wall, rather than a desk or worse, the floor. In the upright position, visual convergence is made easier as is arm movement. The use of a large surface for writing allows large strokes and greater ease. Good lighting and a quiet, non -distracting area contribute to success as well.

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