My nine-year-old daughter, Miriam, is struggling to do her school work.  I’ve tried a bunch of different combinations.  I spent time last week coming up with new workbooks and an incentive program which allows her to watch videos associated with the work she is learning once she has completed her book work.

This morning is day one of what I thought would be new and fairly easy.  Instead I hear her saying, “I can’t do this.  It is too hard. I’m dumb.”  I decided to show her videos about the Masuru Emoto experiments where they talk to water and then freeze and photograph the crystals.  This led to my twelve-year-old son mentioning a video he had seen.  Here it is:

video 1


And this is a follow up in case you want to see it: video 2

I suggested to my daughter that every time she had a negative thought she simply says out loud “I can do it.”  It should not surprise me that she answered “I can’t do that!  I will never remember to do it. etc.”  Then I hit on the idea: Let’s get some masking tape and just put positive words on you like they did with the bottle of rice.  She was game. Her brother got into the action and added “You are dope!!”  She added some of her own too.  “Food” was one of her labels.  Hmmm.

We then put our attention back on the schoolwork. I saw a spot in her math book that she had skipped over saying “it is too hard”.  I started working the math problem through systematically and long before I came to a conclusion, she saw the answer and wrote it in with confidence.  I was skeptical that she figured it out so quickly while I was still working on it, but she had it right!  “How did you do that?” I sincerely wondered out loud.  I looked down at the label on her pants and pointing to it, “It must be because you are smart!”

Did the label really make a difference?  Who knows, but I don’t think it can hurt, so I’m going with it.

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