You know your child is going through one of these stages when you hear her say things like, “I can’t do it!” “I’m no good at science” or “Maria hates me!”
You can help your child bounce back and feel more capable. Help her overcome setbacks by:
· Laying the foundation for optimism. Break down difficult tasks into small steps your child can master. Let her see that one success can lead to another.
· Teaching problem-solving skills. Brainstorm possible solutions. Give your child choices.
· Criticizing actions, not your child. Say, “You didn’t pick up your dirty clothes.” Not, “You’re lazy and messy.” The latter implies there’s something wrong with her character.
· Playing away your child’s worries. If your child is afraid of making a new friend, let her practice introducing herself to you.
· Stifling negative comments about yourself. If you burn a cake, say, “Oops. I guess we’ll have ice cream tonight!” Not, “I’m so dumb. I can never do anything right.”
· Talking about positive thinking on a regular basis. Point out positive versus negative attitudes from news or life stories. Share positive quotes from famous people.
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