Do you find yourself struggling not to take over when your child makes a mistake or when they anxious that they can’t do something? Childhood anxiety can be difficult to navigate. In this post I will give you positive parenting solutions to assist your child when they are struggling.
Maybe they are getting anxious because they can’t do their homework. You can see they have made a mistake so you rub it out and get them to start again.
Maybe they are learning to cut their food with a knife and its not going well so you take over and cut it for them.
There is nothing wrong with this. But there is a cost.
Identifying positive parenting solutions start by reflection
Think about what you are “saying” to them by taking over. When raising children, remember your child learns more by what you do rather than what you say.
When you take over you could be “saying”
“You are not able to learn”
“It’s not okay to make mistakes”
“I will rescue you”
To be a successful learner, your child needs to sit with the discomfort of learning.
Positive parenting solutions to stop taking over
How can you stop yourself from taking over? At this time when childhood anxiety is on the rise, it can be hard raising children. Inside us there is a need to help and protect our children.
First, repeat this:
“My child is going to make mistakes.
My child is going to be disappointed.
My child may feel big emotions.
My child will be okay because mistakes are how we learn”
Remember to breathe.
It can be hard for you when your child in discomfort. You may naturally find yourself getting anxious. However, it is important that you manage your stress in order to help them calm down. Do this by take 5 long, slow breathes to lower your cortisol levels.
Help your child identify how they are feeling.
You can do this by reflecting what emotion you are seeing. This may sound like “You seem pretty angry. Is that how you are feeling?” Your child will tell you if that is not how they are feeling. This is how your child develops emotional literacy. Remind them that feelings come and go.
Coach them to solve their problem.
Do this by asking questions to make them think. Questions that start with What, How, When, Who and Where are good to ask. For example. What could you try? Where do you think you went wrong? How could you fix this?
Let your child make mistakes or struggle
Are there any situations where you can let them struggle and not rescue? Maybe when they are doing a jigsaw or maybe it is as simple as giving them time to cut their food. Even if it means there is more food off the plate than on.
When they make progress or work out the solution to a problem, encourage and help them reflect so they will keep trying. You can also reflect what you are seeing, for example: “I really loved the way you tried.”
Of course sometimes your child is so anxious or emotional or you don’t have time to do the above that you will need to take over or help. However, these times are great to reflect on when your child is calmer as reflection is a great learning tool.
To read more about raising children especially to support your child learn from their mistakes read here.