As defined by the Collins English Dictionary, to celebrate is to do something enjoyable because of a special occasion or to mark someone’s success. But what does this have to do with speech pathology and the journey we embark on during therapy?
At A Growing Understanding, celebrating is a big part of what we do. We believe that celebrating small wins can help us all achieve big goals. This goes for the team as well as the children and families we work with each day. In this blog article, I will explain how celebrating forms part of our everyday, and how it helps your child during their speech pathology journey.
Why We Celebrate
Before we jump into the ‘how’, I thought it would be helpful to run through a few reasons why celebrating big or small wins can be beneficial for all of us. We all know how it feels to receive a well-deserved pat on the back for trying hard or achieving a great result. This sense of acknowledgment can be elating, and simply makes us feel good. But, in addition to feeling good, celebrating also helps us to:
- Learn and adapt – by recognising what works well and why, you can inspire other actions and goals, and continue to achieve.
- Develop a successful mindset – to succeed you must have the right mindset, and celebrating is a great way to cultivate a success mindset.
- Feel motivated – motivation is driven by success, and if we don’t celebrate the small wins along the way, we fail to recognise our success and gain motivation.
- Share the success – when acknowledging someone or even your own achievement by celebrating, you allow others to feel the joy and gain motivation from that one win.
Celebrating Small Wins Brings Big Smiles
Our goal as speech pathologists is to increase the confidence and competence of the children that we work with. We’re helping theses children with tasks that are challenging, so it is important to keep their motivation levels high. There are many techniques we adopt in a therapy session to do this, but one of the most successful strategies is to celebrate. Celebrating is fun, and as I have already mentioned, it makes you feel good. By celebrating each small win throughout a therapy sessions, the children feel accomplished, they feel happy and this, in turn, breads confidence and encourages success. Without these small, but significant acknowledgments, the children would have little to look forward to and it would be all about the work.
In a previous blog post called Fun in Therapy and the Importance of Play, we discuss how fun is implemented in each session to ensure emphasis is placed on the child’s achievement, not their challenge:
“Think of it like this – fun is the light. Without fun, the emphasis is placed on the challenge, the dark. When we introduce fun, the light shines in and can help your child grow.”
Celebrating is a big part of the ‘light’ we introduce to help your child grow. By offering praise and encouragement during sessions, rewards like a special game at the end of the session, high fives for the big goals, postcards and video messages, we help your child to see that they can in fact achieve.
But the celebrations don’t just occur behind the closed doors of a therapy session. We ensure we offer special events to give all families an opportunity to celebrate their success. Plus, we also celebrate the achievements of the A Growing Understanding team. By celebrating the families’ successes as we celebrate our own, we ensure we all feel motivated and ready to achieve the best outcomes.
Go for the Goals
Of course, it can be hard to celebrate if you’re not sure where you are up to in the scheme of things. To ensure our families, children and teams are aware of their achievements, we need to set specific goals. These goals are like guideposts, highlighting the path to success. And everyone has a different path to take. By setting clear goals at the beginning of your child’s therapy journey, and then revisiting them regularly, we are ensuring there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate. Plus, the children learn goal setting strategies, how to keep track of their work, and gain an understanding that hard work makes a difference and matters.
At the end of the day, we all need to feel as though we have achieved something – big or small. This sense of achievement is what drives us forward, and helps us to continue to plan and negotiate our goals. Without celebrating the small wins, we would fail to recognise how much we have grown. And growth is something that should always be celebrated.