OMATAS Blog

You Can Make a BIG Difference with a Single Thing

There’s this nautical reference to 1:60 that I think applies to parenting. It states that if an aircraft is just 1 degree off when it starts its journey, by the time it reaches 60 nautical miles it will be a mile off its goal. I imagine a maths protractor. You remember the half circle of clear plastic with the degrees marked on it. At the base in the centre, the lines marking the degrees where really close together but at the edges they had drifted apart.

I think the same is true for us, we can make a small adjustment to what we do and watch to see the remarkable difference it can make in 60 minutes, or 60 hours or even a lifetime of 60 years.

A therapist has 55 minutes a week with your child. You (and your child’s teacher) have hours with them. Imagine how much further you can get in a single year if the adults in your child’s life, including you, are all getting real with changes that can make a difference.

If you make a single change once a week, you will have changed 52 things by the time the next New Year’s Eve comes around. You just need to decide to do this.

As a young parent, I started with a book that inspired me. It challenged me to really think about what I wanted for my child. Each sentence I read, drove me to really think about my parenting.

I started by choosing, and then understanding a single idea well enough. I would spend time thinking about the times in the past where I got it ‘wrong’. I was specific about those times, thinking about how my children had responded to me and what they might be learning from me. I thought about how I role modeled an attitude and how my actions might have left them feeling about themselves.

I was on a mission to change myself, change how I responded and interacted and what implication that had.

Looking at the past was useful, it gave me a clearer picture of what to look out for in the week to come. I kept the single idea in my mind and tried to catch myself as often as possible. Change only happens when we become aware. I spent a lot of time making myself aware of these moments. From awareness came choice. As I grew more and more aware, I started to be able to catch myself before I used the old language or did the old action. The more I caught myself, the more often I could stop myself. From there, I worked out what I did want and started to try out the new words and new behaviours. Before long, that part had changed and the new habit was in place. Then I would move onto the next one.

Each time, I was always thinking about what I could change. We can never change anyone else, but we can change ourselves. And in parenting, when we get better, our children get better.

Get curious about how your child is responding to you. Watch them. You have decades of life experience to their few years, a lot of their behaviour is a reaction to your behaviour.

If you can quieten the judgemental thoughts, both of yourself and them, for a few moments and just get curious, I bet that you’ll find a tiny thing in yourself that you can change. When you adjust that small detail make sure you pay attention to any changes in your child. 

Remember the 1:60 rule. 

If you can adjust just one thing you are doing in your parenting, you may be creating 60 incredible things for your child in the years to come.

There is so much we can do as parents to help our children. We just need to know about little tweaks we can make to our responses to them. Small changes like these, just one at a time, builds up over our child’s young lifetime and can make all the difference. Ask your child’s teacher or therapist about small things you can do that relate directly to your child. Read books or listen to podcasts on parenting that give you ideas of how you can change something small.

As a school, we appreciate this ratio of opportunities and exploit this time we have with your child by doing this heavy lifting in the classroom too. We see incredible progress in very short periods of time because we do this level of intervention constantly. Children at Omatas typically need less formal therapy because we do the ‘work’ of changing ourselves to impact a child by a single degree.

If you are curious, follow us on social media to see what else we are doing. @omatasschool

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