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Working Through Stress With Your Child


For most children, once the initial transition into school is over, they are able to go to school with little difficulty. By the end of October, the honeymoon period of starting school is over, and behaviors increase.

As a parent, this becomes difficult. It is hard to bring your children to school if they don’t want to go, watch them struggle over their homework, or manage their social difficulty.

Fortunately, there are ways to help your child-follow these three therapeutic steps

  1. Validate
  2. Problem Solve
  3. Act

When they are showing distress, validate that you understand them, “I understand you feel nervous because you don’t want to go to school,” or “I can tell you are frustrated because this homework is challenging you.” If your child does not think you understand, they are going to be defensive.

Next, Problem Solve-work them through a plan to get through their stress. For example, “Since you are feeling stressed with your homework, why don’t we write down what is left, and then figure out when you can take a break?” Helping them determine a solution will help them feel their stress is more manageable.

Finally, Act. Put the plan in place. Check in with your child once the stressor is over to see what worked and what did not help. Come up with a plan for next time to try.

Not only do these steps help you understand and communicate with your child, it is also models and encourages your child to develop necessary communication and problem solving skills.

Let me know how you’re doing. Contact me for a family consultation.

Katie Gately
Behaved Brain Wellness Center
Healthier Kids – Happier Parents

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