Monthly Archives: March 2016

Helping Children Learn to Deal with Disappointment

Helping Children Learn to Deal with Disappointment. Episode #13 - Raising Kids Who Can Cope

Episode #13 in the “Raising Kids Who Can Cope” Series

Click arrow to listen to the 90-second podcast.

We all want to raise kids who are emotionally and socially intelligent and are able to recover from disappointment to grow stronger every day into adulthood

Disappointments – large and small – are inevitable parts of everyone’s daily lives. The way we handle, or cope with, those disappointments has an important impact on how we view ourselves and the world around us.

Very young children don’t yet have the ability to manage their own emotional responses or stress. When they want something, they want it right away, and they let us know by crying or acting out. As children get older, they watch how adults cope with disappointment and begin to model their own responses after ours.

As adults, we can teach young people a few simple steps to regulating their emotions in stressful situations. When a disappointment occurs, take a moment to recognize how you feel and acknowledge those feelings. Then have a plan for how to calm yourself, such as taking a deep breath, counting to three, and telling yourself to calm down. Lastly, take a few minutes to think of positive, proactive solutions. Focus on things you can control, and keep in mind we can’t really control what other people do.

From time to time, explain to children how you have used these steps to handle frustration. Then, when they experience disappointment, help talk them through the steps as well. With practice, their skills in coping with disappointment will improve, and they will become better problem solvers.

Raising Kids Who Can Cope is a 28-part series developed to build skills, knowledge and awareness in adults who play a role in young people’s lives. It is brought to you by Jackson County UW-Extension and Together for Jackson County Kids. Find out more at Raising Kids Who Can Cope.

References

Joseph, G.E. and Strain, P.S. (2003). Helping Young Children Control Anger and Handle Disappointment. Urbana-Champaign, IL: The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning. Available at http://www.childstudysystem.com/uploads/6/1/9/1/6191025/helping_young_children_handle_anger.pdf

Setting Appropriate Consequences

Setting Appropriate Consequences. Episode #12 - Raising Kids Who Can Cope

Episode #12 in the “Raising Kids Who Can Cope” Series

Click arrow to listen to the 90-second podcast.

We all want to raise kids who are emotionally and socially intelligent and are able to recover from disappointment to grow stronger every day into adulthood

From an early age, children should learn that misbehaviors can bring unwanted consequences. Hitting siblings can mean time away from the center of the action, not finishing homework means a loss of TV time, piles of dirty laundry in their room means favorite clothes aren’t clean when they want to wear them. These consequences are appropriate because they fit the behavior.

A consequence that is too stiff or unrelated to the behavior takes focus off the behavior you want to correct and makes the child defensive. They come back with “You never let me have any fun” or “That’s not fair” and the conversation becomes a tug-of-war with words. The situation becomes harder to resolve.

When parents apply appropriate consequences, children can learn lessons of responsibility and problem solving. This becomes especially important with teenagers, the consequences of decisions can become much more serious than not cleaning a room.

To avoid spiraling negative cycles, make it clear from the beginning that certain behaviors are not negotiable and consequences are immediate. Also, remember that in growing up, children of all ages can benefit from being involved with parents in negotiating boundaries and developing decision-making skills.

Raising Kids Who Can Cope is a 28-part series developed to build skills, knowledge and awareness in adults who play a role in young people’s lives. It is brought to you by Jackson County UW-Extension and Together for Jackson County Kids. Find out more at Raising Kids Who Can Cope.

References

Ginsberg, K. R. (2011). Building Resiliency in Children and Teens. Grove Village IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Setting Realistic Goals & Expectations

Setting Realistic Goals & Expectations. Episode #11 - Raising Kids Who Can Cope

Episode #11 in the “Raising Kids Who Can Cope” Series

Click arrow to listen to the 90-second podcast.

We all want to raise kids who are emotionally and socially intelligent and are able to recover from disappointment to grow stronger every day into adulthood

Having realistic goals and expectations for your child will allow them to experience success and feel personally valuable, while setting expectations for your child that may be too high could bring disappointment and cause low self-esteem.

A good way to do a check of your expectations for your child is to start with learning a bit about child development.  Figure out where your child is at this stage of development, so that you know what they should or could be capable of doing.  This will help you keep your expectations realistic, and not too high or too low.

You could also ask yourself a few questions like, “Why do I have this expectation?”, “Is it based on my wishes or my child’s needs?”, “What purpose does it serve?”, or “Am I being fair?”  This will help you focus on the expectations that have real meaning for your child at his or her stage of development.

The long-term effects of setting realistic goals and expectations for your child are numerous, but setting attainable goals and building healthy self-esteem are things that will turn children into confident teens and responsible adults.

Additional Resources:

University of Michigan: Developmental Stages in Your Child
Washington State Child Development Guide

Raising Kids Who Can Cope is a 28-part series developed to build skills, knowledge and awareness in adults who play a role in young people’s lives. It is brought to you by Jackson County UW-Extension and Together for Jackson County Kids. Find out more at Raising Kids Who Can Cope.

References

Nelson, P. T. (Ed) (2012). Self-esteem grows with realistic expectations in Families Matter! A Series for Parents of School- Age Youth. Newark, DE: Cooperative Extension, University of Delaware. (Pat Tanner Nelson, Ed.D. Extension Family & Human Development Specialist ptnelson@udel.edu, http://bit.ly/DEjitp. Adapted from materials prepared for Cooperative Extension and from Working Mother.)

National PTA.  http://www.pta.org

Giving Constructive Feedback to Children

Giving Constructive Feedback to Children. Episode #10 - Raising Kids Who Can Cope

Episode #10 in the “Raising Kids Who Can Cope” Series

Click arrow to listen to the 90-second podcast.

We all want to raise kids who are emotionally and socially intelligent and are able to recover from disappointment to grow stronger every day into adulthood

All children have their own personal strengths but too often we overlook them and focus on faults and weaknesses. That is when criticism creeps in. Using criticism as constructive feedback can help a child develop confidence in their abilities and decisions.

Two points to remember when providing feedback are: one, feedback like praise, must be specific. Name the action or behavior. For example, “You left a mess on the counter. Please help out by cleaning it up.”

And two, avoid making personal statements about your child such as “You are so messy or You are clumsy.” Avoid labels and shame that can put a child in the position of having to defend themselves or retreating into anger and resentment.

If a child is stuck on completing a task or correcting a mistake, build on their strengths, point out what they have accomplished in the past and help them identify ways to solve the current problem. Constructive feedback provides guidance, understanding, and opens up opportunities for discussions between parent and child.

Raising Kids Who Can Cope is a 28-part series developed to build skills, knowledge and awareness in adults who play a role in young people’s lives. It is brought to you by Jackson County UW-Extension and Together for Jackson County Kids. Find out more at Raising Kids Who Can Cope.

References

Ginsburg, K. R. (2011). Building Resiliency in Children and Teens. Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics