Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Work on alternate solutions.

What you can do

Help your child come up with a series of alternate solutions to a problem and quickly choose the best option. Use your TV to strengthen your child’s skills in this area. Watch a scene from a movie or TV show and ask your child to think of different actions the main character could have taken.

During these exercises, your child can play with lots of solutions and work on problem-solving and self-advocacy skills.

What you can say

“Jacob, I know you really like this show. Let’s watch this episode again and use it to play a little game. I’m going to pause the show when the main character makes a bad decision. While we’re pausing the show, let’s see who can come up with a better way the character could have handled the situation.”

“It’s funny when he does these goofy things on TV. But it’s easy to see what the downsides would be if you did the same thing at your school, right? What are some of the things you could do differently if you were the main guy on this show?”

Why this will help

Children with learning and attention issues often give up trying to solve social problems. They simply think they are unattractive to other kids. But it can be useful to your child to analyze specific interactions, good or bad, that he’s experienced.

Discussing different ways he could have acted or reacted and asking him to practice different responses with you can help him see that not every interaction is destined to end badly. Helping him put into words what worked well and practice using these alternatives at home will encourage him to try these strategies with his peers.

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