Everyone in a family may have a unique way of handling tough things. You and your child can benefit from this variety. Let me show you the variety of ways family members can help a child.
Being Stoic and Putting On The Game Face
It’s OK to have a stoic dad that teaches your child how to put on their game face when they need to do things they may not like. There is value in this approach because it teaches kids to keep a balance of their emotions and their actions. This helps to teach courage, which is simply taking action in spite of fear or uncertainty.
A Shoulder To Cry On
It’s also OK to have a more emotional mom available to cry with when the mood strikes. Sometimes you have to just feel your feelings for a while before you can move on from them. Having that opportunity can keep you honest with yourself about your stress and worries.
Positive Distractions – A Day At The Park
It’s also great to have other family members around to help provide positive distraction. While a day at the park may not solve the problem, it can pepper in some positive experiences with important loving people. Those memories can be invaluable to help a child lift themselves up from a low mood (or when they have to do that thing they don’t want to do when the time comes).
The Wonderful World Of Childhood
It’s wonderful to have friends and siblings to help them “be a kid.” Worrisome things can cause a young person to feel heavy inside. They can easily get bogged down with their emotions and have difficulty moving forward. What they need are other kids helping them get sucked back into the creative and intuitive world of kid-dom. When they have an easy invitation and some willing playmates, they can more easily shed the shackles of worry and negativity. They can have a healthy escape so they can grip reality when it’s time.
Give Your Kids Coping Skill Choices
You might find that you aren’t totally comfortable with each and every approach here, especially the first two. If you are uncomfortable expression tough emotions, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. By the same token, it’s OK to have someone teach your child to “look tough” sometimes. It isn’t always appropriate to express emotion whenever you feel it.
If you can allow a variety of things to happen, you’ll find that your child will be well-equipped to handle a stressful situation. They can choose whatever fits them at the right time. They will be able to endure and cope with anything that comes their way.
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Last reviewed: 7 Apr 2011