A mother recently went on a forum to lament that she was extremely disappointed because she had placed so many expectations on her son, but the 8-year-old was afraid of everything:Whatever was asked of the challenge, the child immediately withdrew. I don’t dare, I will lose, I will fail… Her catchphrases sometimes drive me crazy. Did I do something wrong? Why are other people’s children so strong and confident?”.
Surely everyone, like this mother, will be very disappointed when there is a child in the family who always thinks negatively about everything.
In fact, each child has his or her own natural temperament. Most of these shy children are born sensitive and cautious, have high self-esteem, are perfectionists, so when they have problems, they will be afraid of failure and do not do well, so they often hide. avoid. They will never try until they feel certain of success.
It’s not that children can’t do many things, just because they always look ahead, have too many worries in their hearts, so they lack the courage to try.
What can parents do to encourage their sensitive children to accept challenges?
First of all, avoid words that seem encouraging but will actually have the opposite effect: Obviously you can do it; If you haven’t tried, how will you know? This is too easy, what’s your problem; Be brave, aren’t you a brave child…
Instead, use these four sentences to help your child move beyond the “precautionary” feeling and ready to try:
First sentence: Let’s try it together
Why use “we” instead of “con”? It is to let children know that: You do not work alone, no matter what happens, there are people around you!
This feeling of “having someone to overcome difficulties with” is different from the feeling of “being pushed out to face difficulties alone”. This helps to give the child warmth and safety, rather than just making them feel anxious and scared.
A netizen once shared a story when she was a child: At New Year’s parties, her cousins often invited to perform together. However, she is most afraid of appearing on stage, so she often covers her face and refuses. Once, her mother suddenly said: “Tieu Di, I will sing with you today”. Just a simple sentence, but since then, the daughter has boldly participated in any performance.
The meaning of “we are together” does not mean that you have to complete the work for the child, but rather to let the child feel that he has a friend, not alone when faced with a relatively remote situation. strange and challenging. Just try it once and get a positive response, the next time the child will not protest.
Second sentence: The first time I did this, the result was very bad, it took a lot of effort to do it right.
Empathize with your child, put yourself in his shoes, and tell him that you are not perfect; There are things you can’t do well and dare not do, so you don’t need to pursue perfection.
This will relieve a lot of the psychological burden on children with high self-esteem: Oh, it turns out this is quite difficult, turns out that when I was a child, my mother couldn’t do it. Failure is normal, don’t be afraid of not doing well. Try it out.
As long as the child is willing to try, regardless of the outcome, give immediate positive feedback: Oh! Much better than mom did! You can also praise your child’s courage and trying spirit.
In short, do not use “finished results” but use “progress in the process” to evaluate what children do, let children feel they are better than themselves at all times, and they will have courage. to keep trying.
Question 3: Tell me, where is your problem? What are you afraid of?
Pay attention to the tone, ask the child in a sincere and serious voice, so that the child can feel: I care about you, want to know where your difficulties are, where you stumble, so that I can help.
When you ask questions, the child begins to think. And thinking is the best breakthrough to defeating “emotions” and “habits”. When children begin to think, we are mobilizing them to solve problems in a rational way, instead of using denial reactions to get out of difficulties.
If your child says he doesn’t know where he’s stuck, don’t get angry or emotional, you can guide him step by step. Of course, if children can figure out what can’t be done on their own, we should also try to help them solve the problem, breaking the problem into small steps, making the task easier.
For example: You ask the child how much is 7 + 8? If your child doesn’t want to count, ask again: Where can’t you do it? The child thinks about it and says, the number is too big, more than his fingers.
You ask, what if mom changes the number to a smaller number, 7 + 3? The child says the result is 10. You keep asking, 7 + 4 and 7 + 5, will he be able to calculate it? The child finally found the answer after some calculations.
Fourth sentence: Not necessarily now!
Sensitive children are often very demanding of themselves, when asked to try something, children will come to mind: Must do well! But when you feel that you have not done well, you will withdraw and stop trying.
So we need to break the default “must do well” and let children lower their expectations of themselves: This is not something they can do right now, just try it. If we can do it right away, it’s a genius, it doesn’t matter if we can’t do it, we just take it slow. In short, the goal is to let the child know that doing it is an “optional”, not a “required”.
The reason why sensitive children always back down and refuse to try is not because they are timid, lazy or lack of perseverance, but just because they are too focused on results, on whether they will succeed or not. They are so demanding of themselves that it is difficult to accept defeat or loss. These are strong kids by nature, they just need to figure out how to deal with difficulties and they will work very hard.
So, to encourage this type of child, parents must do two things:
1. Change your child’s way of thinking and let him focus on the process rather than the result;
2. Guide your child to think and help him find ways to deal with difficulties. Instead of just throwing your child a “I can do it” and then leaving.
Believe that after those words of encouragement, each child will have enough courage and confidence to face difficulties.