Discussing social and emotional issues with your child is never easy. But, avoiding the subject is even worse. It’s important that your child understands that he struggles with something, not everything.
Frame The Struggle
By determining what exactly is bothering your child, you can determine both the problem and reinforcing the fact that he does not struggle with everything. Doing this can help him give him a sense of control.
Balance The Positive With The Negative
Just like with adults, sometimes it’s hard to see the good through the bad. Help your child deal with the negative. But, always make sure you boost the positive. After discussing things that are difficult for him, end on a positive note. Ensure your child understands that he is a good person.
Be Specific When Discussing Poor Behavior
Never use generalities when discussing inappropriate behavior. It’s important for him/her to understand exactly what he/she did was wrong. Avoid phrases like, “you always” or “you never.” The goal is to have your child set goals he/she can achieve.
AFTER your child has shared his/her feelings, help him manage them.
Separate individual incidents
Help him/her brainstorm solutions by running through different scenarios (What do you think would happen if…?)
Let him/her make the choice that feels most comfortable to him
Never be dismissive. Don’t make comments like, “You shouldn’t feel that way.”
Put anxiety in perspective. Encourage your child to talk about his/her fears. Never tell him not to worry. But, provide verbal reassurance and end the conversation with a hug.