Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Be a good listener.

What you can do

Listen to and respect your child’s concerns and feelings. Talk about his concerns in a calm and non-judgmental manner. Make clear that you’re going to help him feel better. Be specific about how you’re going to support him and help him feel less afraid.

Say these things when he expresses fear or anxiety, but try not to overdo it. Too much reassurance from you or overemphasis on certain points may cause your child to worry more.

What you can say

“Jacob, I hear you telling me you don’t want to go to your new art class tomorrow. Are you feeling a little scared because it’s new and you haven’t tried it before? If you want me to, I’ll stay with you and help you until you feel comfortable. I know you like art projects, and I think you’re very good at it. I’m sure you’ll have fun once you give it a try.”

Why this will help

Children with learning and attention issues are often anxious and fearful when facing the unknown or trying new activities. Talking about their feelings and concerns can often make the fear less overwhelming.

Reassuring your child that you will be available to support him, especially in the beginning, will help him feel comfortable enough to give new activities a try.

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