3 Essentials for Parents of Struggling Children

There's something about being responsible for another human being that makes most parents prone to fear. Add a child struggling to master a skill - from toilet-training to reading to dealing with stress or being self-motivated to get a job –  and fear can ramp up to over-blown worry and pressure for them to 'get it'.

Sadly, the fear itself can have a negative impact on a child's success so parents take note. If your child is struggling to learn what you think they should (or even if they aren't) here are 3 essentials to remember:

1. Have Perspective -  Remind yourself that, barring special circumstances, it's a good bet that your child will gain an adequate level of skill to survive. As long as parents do some reasonable teaching, keep shame to a minimum, and stay out of the way, kids will get much of what they need to manage in this world. And this goes better when parents tone down their anxiety. Some mantras to help remember this: They'll get it. Have faith. It's gonna be okay.

2. Practice Acceptance - That said, it is essential to accept your child – first for where they really are (as opposed to age expectations or wishes) – then for the fact that there are some things your child will likely never love or do extremely well. And that's okay. Nobody gets it all right. Accepting and appreciating your whole child is a must for helping them accept themselves. Acceptance mantras: Trust the story. Perfectly imperfect. Awesome anyway.

3. Foster a Challenge Mindset - Finally, at the core of any positive learning is a focus on challenge being a good thing. Hint: this involves challenging them to rise to the challenge and focusing your attention heavily on any efforts to do so  – no matter how small – while focusing much more lightly on what still needs improving. Good mantras for this are: Effort over accomplishment. Direction not perfection. What you notice grows. 

Do these three things and you will help your children become the best versions of themselves which includes remembering just how awesome they are in the first place.

Good luck ~ and good parenting.