The Road To Developing Competence In Your Child

He proudly whatsapped a picture of his marksheet.


I congratulated him and asked him how he felt.


“Relieved and proud. I was so worried.”


– Aahan Patel


I didn’t care about his marks. (which were pretty good, actually!)
I cared that he had reached out to inform me.
And that he was proud of himself.
It showed a sense of ownership.


Another example-



“I made the fried rice. I broke the egg and cut the sausage. . I put oil inside the pan. I put egg and sausage. I put chilli powder inside the pan. I add salt. I put rice inside the pan. I mix the fried rice. I gave to Kakak Efa. (office assistant) I feel happy. and feel proud. Amma feel happy and proud.


– As written by Sanjeev Nambiar


I’m extremely proud of my students too!


It’s not about the words, but the ability to take action and think mindfully, reflect and self monitor.


Even if they don’t use too many words, you will see a recognition of all the above in their lit up eyes and bright faces.


I can’t get the priceless look on Mohit’s face out of my mind, when he saw me wear an outfit inspired by his art!




That look said it all.
The curiosity, the studying response, the slight smile was worth more than a thousand words.


This has come from hours of parents working with their children to develop and Guided Participation Relationship.


Today I’d like to share some pointers to enable you to start off on this heartfelt journey with your child.


Feel free to use these pointers to help your child feel competent and show ownership in activities in their lives.


1. Engage in a simple activity


Choose any activity you enjoy engaging in- with your child.
Cooking, playing ball, baking, playing a game etc.
This will become the experience that you both engaged in- together.


While engaging, slow down and try to use declarative language.
This will help your child to mindfully respond to you.


2. Set your child up for success


Choose something your child is relatively good at.
Balance is the key. If its too easy, your child will disengage and if it’s too difficult, he may leave the framework.
Add one or two elements of challenge.
For example- while cooking, if an ingredient is missing how does your child solve the problem?


3. When in doubt use the one step ahead model.




This point is self explanatory.


4. Focus on the joy of engaging with each other


happy children


Don’t make it all about task completion.
Enjoy the process and togetherness between you both.


For example: If you’re baking a cake, enjoy icing it together.
This is what your child will remember.


5. Encode the activity


Spotlight how competent your child was during the activity. If he solved a problem or did the activity independently- comment on it.


It’s a good idea to encode the experience.


You can do this using:


a. pictures
b. short videos
c. writing or typing about it.


This will help your child remember how he felt while engaging in the activity.


It ‘s a nice way to create short term memory links.
Your child will start connecting past and present.
In the long run, you will help your child become more resilient.
He will start working because he’s intrinsically motivated.
The best part is the resulting emotional bond between you and your child.
It takes some effort, but it’s worth it. Your child will feel competent and own his work.


If you need assistance or have questions, feel free to drop us an email.


Kamini Lakhani

Kamini Lakhani is the founder and director of SAI Connections. She has been providing services in the field of autism for more than 25 years and is the authorized director of Professional Training for RDI in India and the Middle East. She is also the mother of a young adult with autism.

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