Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Practice talking about frustration.

What you can do

Help your child learn appropriate ways to express frustration to her teacher. Be sure to have her practice explaining why the task is frustrating. Talk with your child about some common frustrating experiences, and suggest phrases she can use when speaking to the teacher.

It’s also a good idea to give her examples of what not to say. You can make these examples funny and exaggerated to keep your conversation upbeat.

What you can say

“Sofia, I know you sometimes get frustrated with your work at school because you find the reading difficult. Mrs. Smith is there to help you. But you have to let her know when you need her help. Do you think you’ll get a good response from her if you say, ‘I hate this worksheet, it’s just plain stupid?’”

“I agree. That probably won’t go over too well. But maybe you could say, ‘I’m having trouble reading some of these words, and that is making me frustrated.’ That would probably get Mrs. Smith’s attention in a good way and get you the assistance you need, right?”

“Let’s try a couple more phrases to see which ones work for you. But first I want you to make up a really funny wrong way to get Mrs. Smith’s attention. That was great. How could you turn that around so it would work better? Great job. Let’s write that one down because I could see it helping you in many different situations to get some help when you’re frustrated.”

Why this will help

Children with learning and attention issues learn best when you show and tell them how to do something. When your child is calm, she is more likely to be open to suggestions on how to express her frustration to teachers or other authority figures. Practicing these phrases at home will help them come more easily to her when she’s frustrated.

492Found this helpful
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