10 Steps To Help Your Children Solve Their Problems
“My child comes from school furious and doesn’t want to listen to me or do anything I say”
“My child is strong-willed”
“My child is stubborn”
“My child is careless and messy”
“My child has no sense of responsibility”
The list of complaints about a child can go on. But what does it mean? Is your child really acting in such a way to challenge you, or is there a problem that you are not aware of?
It is really important to distinguish between something your child says or does on daily basis and something that is different from the norm, or occurs at certain times or situations.
Start by observing if your child is becoming angrier, quieter, isolated, etc. These changes in mood, sleep patterns, eating disorders, and changes in social or mental behaviors signal that your child is having a problem. Some children can verbally express their problem, others can’t.
Follow these basic steps to make sure your child is getting the help needed in case s/he is facing a problem:
- Start a conversation. Ask if they are having a problem or ask about their day, “How did it go? What was the best thing that happened?”
- If your child refuses to talk or is not simply in the mood, give them their space, and be ready when they come back and start talking.
- Work on bonding with your child. You do not need to overdo it, simple actions can go a long way: snuggle in bed, read a story, make a cake (and be ready for the mess), color, play a board game, go for a walk, massage their feet, or simply give them a big warm hug.
- Ask for your child’s help (in a non-demanding way). For instance, “Dear I’m doing …. and I would appreciate your help”, and let them decide how they can help you.
- Build a rapport with their teachers, coaches, grandparents or other caregivers.
- Make sure to give them your full attention when they come and talk to you. It is simple but can be hard to do with all the mother’s chores, so don’t worry you can catch up on whatever you will leave behind to give them your full attention.
- Having dinner together and taking turns to talk about your day is really helpful in building a warm rapport and making that connection. It will make it easier for your child to open up and come tell you about problems facing them.
- Be prepared to listen to small problems as well as big ones. A problem can be as small as an argument in a game, and as serious as bullying or sexual harassment.
- Just listen and ask how they want you to help. Children are smart and can figure out their own solutions; they just need a sounding board – someone to listen with care and without judgment. Let them decide how they want you to help them.
- Make sure that your child is not sick (check for symptoms and have a medical checkup if needed).
Problems are good opportunities to stretch your child’s thinking capacity and resilience, so be gentle with yourself and don’t feel guilty that your child is having a problem.
Life Coachers is a licensed representative for Gordon Training International with a mission to contribute towards developing a more peaceful and productive community through training parents, teens, teachers, employees, and managers effective communication skills that are applicable at home, at schools, and at work.