14 July 2016

How to respond to your child's negative self-talk

Empathize: Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand what they may be feeling. “That writing assignment’s pretty challenging, eh?” or “Wow, sounds like you’re feeling frustrated!” If you can’t think of what to say, try a simple response like, “That’s tough” or “Need a hug?”

Get curious: Some kids have a hard time verbalizing the problem. When you start to explore the situation together, they may be able to understand what’s really bugging them. “I wonder why this assignment is tripping you up today.” or “Is it all writing assignments or this one in particular?”

Rewrite the script: Once you’ve explored, you can work together to create some new phrases to try. Instead of “Writing is hard. I’m stupid,” your child could say, “I’m working hard on writing” or “Making mistakes is part of learning.” Or even, “Mom, I’m so frustrated with this assignment.”

Problem-solve together: Resist the urge to suggest a solution to the problem or lead them to an answer that seems right to you. Work as a team. Sometimes, there is no easy solution or quick fix because the answer is, “I have to keep practicing” or “I am working toward the goal.”

Challenge thoughts and feelings: Feelings come and go, they do not define you. Your child may FEEL unloveable, but feeling something doesn’t mean it’s true. Someone can struggle and not be stupid. Talk about times when your child has overcome something difficult and felt confident or excited

Read the full article by Nicole Schwarz.