Five Tips For Parents to Support A Struggling Child5 min read
Do you often see your child struggling? Whether it is lacking in studies or the sudden unexplained change in their attitude. A random emotional meltdown or a tantrum? Their behavior might also alarm you, but you remain clueless about how to deal with your child. Surprisingly, these issues are found to be very common among kids as they grow older and emotionally mature and are subsequently learning to regulate their emotions. Although the behavior change might be highly concerning for the new parents, you can efficiently resolve it by focusing on changing your behavior instead of trying to change your child’s behavior. It is important to realize that children learn from their parents, and a simple change in your behavior can help your child change theirs without doing much.
Here are some ways you could help your struggling child and teach them resilience and strength.
Keep a check on what they’re doing
As parents, it is crucial to keep a check on your kids and help whenever needed. Don’t make them feel suffocated, but let them know you are there when they need you. Kids can get involved in things that can harm them at any age. These may include bad company, drugs, and the list goes on. The desire to do something risky is quite a normal part of teen development, and while that is fine, some risky choices can be more harmful than others, like drug abuse. If you’re worried your child has developed a bad habit, get them the help needed as soon as possible. Reach out to a credible institute to get them on the path to recovery. You can check out the Palm Beach Institute, which provides quality medical detox and addiction treatment for long-term recovery.
Show them emotional support
Many young kids struggle with anxiety, which can sometimes be the root cause of their sudden behavioral change. These might include a sudden loss of appetite, a drop in grades, or a bad attitude. However, you don’t need to stress about it because, often, simply providing emotional support can do wonders and ease anxiety. It’s essential to make your child feel heard and appreciated. When your kid knows they can reach out to you for help without hesitating, it creates a better parent-child relationship.
Gentle parenting provides that healthy environment for the children to emotionally mature and thrive in.
This parenting style is not about giving in to challenging situations but focuses on creating healthy boundaries and acknowledging age-appropriate emotional responses. Gentle parenting endorses that “kids should be kids,” and it is unfair to expect them to behave like adults. It involves being kind and emphatic to your children and giving them choices instead of commands that are to be followed. For example, if your child struggles with completing their homework and is lacking behind in school, nagging them or yelling will only create external pressure from your side and create further anxiety. So instead of commanding them to do their homework, you could encourage them by rewarding them with ice cream or a bar of chocolate; it is proven to be more successful and can motivate them to complete their work happily.
Since children learn the most by observing their surroundings, the kind of environment they grow up in is the essential factor in determining their behaviors and social skill development. Open communication with your kid and dealing with them with kindness, care, and empathy ends up with empathetic kids who have excellent social skills and are confident and happy.
Create healthy boundaries and give space
It is equally important to respect your child’s personal space as it is to reach out to them and provide them with a shoulder to lean on whenever you witness them struggling. Giving your child a separate space and respecting their privacy is extremely important. They might benefit from some peace, especially if your child is introverted and prefers playing alone. It is not a sign to worry; instead, it gives them time to learn and explore themselves. It further helps them expand their horizon, think differently, be creative with their ideas and thoughts, and develop problem-solving abilities. It is important to realize that every kid is different and while some may enjoy being outdoors and among their friends, others might prefer their own space and thoroughly enjoy it too. The key is not being pushy and letting them create a safe space for themselves instead. Even if you intend to help them step out of their comfort zones, being extra pushy can have the opposite effect and can instead increase stress and anxiety.
Involve your child in fun activities and sports
Arranging outdoor activities and sports is a proven and successful method of stress relieving and building self-esteem. If your kid is struggling to make friends and is known to be shy, it is critical to encourage them to participate in sports. Sports like football or basketball require coordination and teamwork to help them make friends and step outside their comfort zone. It has also been shown to be successful in increasing the students’ attention span, as well as them generally doing better in school.
If your kid is a victim of bullying in school and struggles with speaking their mind, encourage them to take part in self-defense classes’ etc. It is a beneficial way of teaching them to stand up for themself. The point is not to teach them aggression and violence but to make them psychically and mentally strong to take up daily life challenges. They are also then less likely to be vulnerable to bullying.
Every child is different and cannot be dealt with the same way. Some may be extroverted and bold, while others may lean towards introversion. Some may be calm and quiet, and others rowdy and aggressive. However, every child requires patience, compassion, and care to feel safe and heard. If you feel your child has been struggling lately, try following the above mentioned tips to help them and yourself.