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Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Help your child help others.

What you can do

Create opportunities for your child to help others. Look for activities that will build on his strengths. Remind him what he’s good at and might want to explore further.

Doing this will have two benefits. It will show your child you noticed his skills in a certain area. And it will make clear that you think your child can add value to your community.

If your child expresses interest in trying new activities that may not be a good fit, you can encourage other choices that are more likely to make risk-taking a successful experience.

It’s also a good idea to steer clear of activities that your child’s siblings have excelled in. This could lead to unhelpful comparisons and set the stage for failure. Steer your child toward exploring his own thing.

What you can say

“Jacob, you’re so good with your little cousins. Maybe we could look for an afterschool program that needs energetic volunteers to work with preschoolers. It could be great for you and great for those little kids. What do you think?”

Why this will help

Offering activities that maximize your child’s strengths and interests will increase the chance that he’ll remain engaged and succeed at these tasks. You can then build on these positive experiences to encourage him to branch out to new activities.

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