Avoid Rescuing Your Child From the Upsets in Life

Simply put, when you rescue your child from the bumps in the road, they miss out on learning. Each difficulty they come across is an opportunity for them to learn how to problem solve, how to manage their emotions and the related social exchange and how to pick up and move forward in a better way. The answer is to shift to viewing each conflict as a time to teach, as a time for your child to grow.

A friend of mine that teaches preschool easily reframes things this way. In a recent example, she described how a parent came to her concerned that the previous day Johnny had hit her child Eric on the playground (names made up for the sake of privacy). My friend said her first words back to this parent were, “aren’t we lucky this happened?” Without a pause she went on to say, “this is a great opportunity to teach Eric what to do when someone is being mean or hurting him. Kids are occasionally going to be aggressive, and it’s good for Eric to have more coaching on how to stand up for himself or ask for help. It’s also a great reminder for me to continue to work with Johnny on using his words and being gentle with friends.” She then offered the parent a list of related children’s book including The Recess Queen by O’Neill and Hooway for Wodney Wat by Lester.

When siblings are fighting, rather than just separating them, when you can, spend some time teaching them the social skills needed to better manage the situation the next go around. Help them really listen to each other, coach them through brainstorming their options and making decisions together.

Good related parenting books include The Blessings of a Skinned Knee by Mogel, The Optomistic Child by Seligman and Unconditional Parenting by Kohne.

Author: Dr. Rene Hackney

With a MA in school psychology and a PhD in developmental psychology, I founded and work as a parent educator at Parenting Playgroups. Somewhere in there I trained in the Developmental Clinic at Children's NMC and in the public schools. I have two beautiful, funny children who make me practice what I preach most everyday.

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