We have two options when our kids struggle: to relieve the pressure to perform—taking a break, slowing down, lowering expectations; or to offer support—partnering with the child, trying a new strategy, providing more resources.
Most of us have a natural response to struggle—to back away or to push through. Our kids get to know our default practices. Sometimes what worked before stops working—the child needs a fresh approach. For instance a child who keeps backing away from challenge may benefit from your strength to say: “You can do it! I’m here to help.”
Whereas if your child is used to you pushing and cheerleading to get beyond the struggle, it may be a welcome relief to hear you say, “Let’s come back to this next week.”
If you tend to be the parent who typically relieves pressure, experiment with holding space for struggle. Consider
- not giving up,
- trying new strategies,
- offering faith in your child’s strength and ability to meet a challenge.
If you’re the kind of parent that typically provides support for overcoming challenge, experiment with
- giving your child a break,
- slowing the pace,
- doing fewer problems,
- going down to an easier level for a little while longer.
These are the two options. Pick one; see what happens. If you hit a wall, try the other! It’s okay to play around with these tools. That’s how you discover what your child needs to thrive.
This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!