Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Help your child connect the dots.

What you can do

Help your child understand that her actions can have a ripple effect. Use a specific example to show how something she may have done without thinking very much about it caused a classmate to stop trying to build a friendship.

Break the situation down for your child. Point out the connection between her behavior and the other child’s response. Then talk about how a little planning could have helped things turn out positively.

What you can say

“Sofia, you seem bummed that Jenny didn’t invite you to her party next weekend. I know you like her, but do you think she knows it?”

“Remember a few weeks ago when she asked you to go to the pool with her? You said no but didn’t give her a reason why you didn’t want to go. I know you don’t like to swim, but maybe Jenny thought that you didn’t want to hang out with her.”

“If you had said you couldn’t join her for swimming that day but that it would be fun to go to a movie together, that would have let her know you still wanted to spend time with her. Maybe you can call and ask Jenny to go to the movies next week.”

Why this will help

Kids with learning and attention issues often speak or act without considering the consequences. By reviewing situations that ended badly, you can explicitly teach your child what went wrong. Connecting the dots and coming up with different strategies will help her achieve the desired result next time.

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