The Hidden Danger of Teaching Coping Skills to Kids

The Hidden Danger of Teaching Coping Skills to Kids

She came into my office, a brave 9 year old, and with a quiet defeated voice shared with me that even though she used her coping skills, sometimes she still worried about bad guys.

My answer to her:

YES!

I still worry about bad guys sometimes too especially if I hear a strange noise at night. It’s normal.

You’re human and I’m human. Having all our emotions including fear and worry is part of being a person. It’s okay to still worry about bad guys.

The goal isn’t for you to never worry again. I know you might want that since worry can feel very uncomfortable and sometimes even painful.

But the real goal is for you to know what to do when you feel worried so it doesn’t stop you from doing fun things, things you want to do, like going to sleepovers, or feeling safe on field trips, or sleeping in your own bed.

Does that make sense?

Relief spread across her face as she nodded and smiled.

This is the HIDDEN DANGER OF COPING SKILLS —

Continue Reading »

Four Ways to Respond to Back Talk & Sidestep Power Struggles

4 ways to respond to back talk and sidestep power struggles

How do you respond to kid’s back talk?

Inside the Emotion Guide Collective, our peer support community, one of our members shared a genius way she responds to her child’s back talk and it got me thinking more about the connection between back talk and power struggles.

When we view back talk as rude, disrespectful, and argumentative behavior that is unacceptable and must be stopped, we create an environment for power struggles to thrive.

Here are four other ways to think about back talk and sidestep power struggles:

Continue Reading »

What’s the Impact of Creating an Emotional Language?

What's the Impact of Creating and Emotional Language?

Ever find yourself asking children these questions:

“What happened?”

“Why’d you do that?”

“What’s wrong?”

“What are you feeling?”

And the most common answer to these questions, one you’ve probably heard a million times, is…drum roll please…

“I don’t know.”

Are you getting too many frustrating “I don’t knows” from your growing person when trying to talk about emotional experiences?

Creating a mutually shared emotional language is an important step to guiding children through big emotions.

Continue Reading »