Seven Keys for Helping Grow Your Child's Emotional Resilience (page 3)

Seven Keys for Helping Grow Your Child

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Updated on Apr 26, 2011

Key 5 Be brave and re-do communication mistakes

Why this Key is important

Everyone makes mistakes that can result in regret and shame. Parents can model and coach children to get in the habit of listening to themselves and observing what they do. It is then possible to re-do words and actions that were perhaps not the best choice.

  • Helicopter parents tend to immediately move into a “solve and fix mode.” This style does not teach children to be aware of their own words and actions. For example, when our child says or does something inappropriate, we tell them what not to do, “Don’t yell at your brother.”
  • Understand that no one can always stay in control when feeling upset. But, parents can coach children to be brave and re-do regretful moments. For example, “I can see that you are mad because your brother barged in your room. I would like to hear you use your talking face and voice when you ask him to knock on the door.”
  • Self-talk Ask yourself, “Am I proud of the way I sounded and looked? Did I like my words and actions?” If not, name it (“I am yelling and want to start again”) and try again (“Let me start over”).
  • Do-Overs We usually pay attention to the words we write on paper. The same can be true of words we speak. Develop the Kimochis™ habit of being aware of how you sound, how you look, and the words you choose when your child is feeling upset. When you realize that you have slipped into helicopter parenting because of your own feelings of fear or shame, stop. Name what you are doing, and start again. For example, “I just interrupted you, Bradley and started telling you how to handle your upset feelings with your friend Kevin. I will start again and practice being a better listener because I am confident you have some solutions that might make things better for you two.”

Key 6 Be kind and let people try again

Why this Key is important

It is important to learn how to be forgiving, resilient and generous of heart. When your child is wronged, it is easy to reactively overprotect them. Our role is to help them remember that everyone makes mistakes and we can let others try again!

  • Helicopter parents tend to forget to model and coach how to forgive and bounce back. “I don’t want you going near Stephanie.”
  • Help a child become aware of an unhealthy pattern in a relationship. “It sounds like Karen needs to learn how to share.” In addition, you can coach your child to choose to be kind and forgive. “I wonder if you can practice forgiving Karen because she still struggles with sharing.”
  • Self-talk Ask yourself, I feel mad that another child hurt my child’s feelings, but are my face, voice, and words communicating that it is important to accept a sincere apology and move on?”

Key 7 Assume the best

Why this Key is important

You can help your child “train the brain” to think the best, rather than assume the worst about what others are doing or saying. Some people have the habit of immediately assuming the worst. They may think, “When I see two people talking quietly, I know they are talking about me” instead of thinking the best, “They must need privacy.” The thoughts you choose matter. Assuming the best promotes a peaceful response and leads to happier, friendlier relationships.

  • Helicopter parents forget to assume the best. This style of communication can unintentionally encourage children to stick up for themselves in a way that is defensive and aggressive rather than peaceful and assertive. “He doesn’t have the right to say that to you.” “I hope you told the teacher.” “I’ll talk to his mother.”
  • Model how a child can understand another’s point of view or humanness. “I can’t imagine Peter meant to hurt your feelings. What do you think he might have been feeling that would cause him to yell at you? Have you had a chance to tell him how you feel?”
  • Self-talkAsk yourself, “Am I noticing when my child is able to assume the best? I could say, ‘I really admire that you can remember that Tom is still working on not yelling when he is upset.’” “Am I modeling and coaching my child to assume the best? I could say, ‘Why do you think Keith grabbed instead of asking for a turn? Do you think he is worried that he won’t get a turn?’”

In an increasingly competitive and busy world where families are overwhelmed and bombarded with distractions, it is easy for parents to accidentally fall into a helicopter parenting style. The helicopter mode of parenting might actually be necessary for some of the BIG things that happen in your child’s life (every child needs a sound helicopter pad to land on once in awhile), but it’s important to balance the overprotective instinct. The seven Keys to Communication recommended by the Kimochis™ team are simple tools that can make a big difference in helping parents step back, encourage and guide children to handle life’s challenging moments with character and confidence. What more could a parent wish for?


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