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Why Rescuing Your Anxious Child Can Be A Big Mistake

As the parent of an anxious child it's natural to want to rescue them. This video explains why that's a mistake and the better way to help.

In recent posts we’ve looked at two of the most common problems I see parents unknowingly making with their anxious child. (Click these links if you missed Mistake #1 and Mistake #2.

Today we’re looking at the 3rd of these most common mistakes.

And it’s all about rescuing.

Now as parents, we want to save our children from situations which are hurting them. That’s only natural.

But, unless it’s a life-threatening situation, rescuing your child can do more harm than good.

You see, instead of helping them, you’re actually taking away your child’s power.

You’re teaching them to be a victim and to look to others for help.

Eventually, they begin to believe they can’t handle things on their own…

…so, they stop trying.

Here’s a short, to the point video where I explain what you can do instead. So rather than jumping in to rescue your child when they face a tough situation, you’re giving them the opportunity to develop valuable life skills, confidence and resilience:

Anxious Child Mistake #3:

Hello, it's Sue Stevenson here. Today I want to talk to you about the third mistake that parents often make, and that is to rescue your child.

Now, does it distress you when you see your child filled with fear, feeling too afraid to step outside their comfort zone?

I’m sure it does. I get it. No parent wants to see their child suffer. So you naturally want to make your child's life as happy, comfortable, and pain free as possible.

Yet every time you rescue your child from a situation that isn't life threatening or dangerous, you're actually enabling them to take on the role of victim. I wonder if this is resonating for you at all. It’s quite natural for many parents to do, automatically, without even thinking about it.

Why Is This A Mistake?

You see, by solving your child's problems for them, you are actually stopping them from thinking for themselves. And research shows that the more we allow our kids the opportunity to think and solve problems for themselves, the more resilient they become.

So how do you stop rescuing your child and start helping them to think for themselves?

Well, here's three things I want you to do.

The 3 Step Solution:

Firstly, when your child starts telling you about something that's gone wrong or something that they're upset or scared about, just firstly listen to them and validate how they're feeling.

Then secondly, instead of automatically jumping into rescuer problem solving mode, by immediately giving your child advice and telling them what to do to resolve the problem, start asking them open possibility questions.

For example, “What do you think you could do about this?”

Or, “What could you say to Joe so that Joe doesn't do this again?”

Or “How could you respond differently next time?”

Maybe you could get them to say, “What could you say to yourself so that you feel more confident next time this happens?”

Asking questions gets your child to think for themselves, which fires off the neurons in their brain and teaches them how to move toward a solution. And the more you get your child to practice solving their own problems, the more confident they'll feel about solving the next challenge that comes along.

Then thirdly, encourage your child to take risks and feel uncomfortable. Too many parents think their job is to protect their child from any kind of pain or discomfort.

Yet your child must step outside their comfort zone to learn how to handle challenges. And if you don't give your child as many opportunities as possible to practice stepping outside their comfort zone, most new situations will feel scary and will be anxiety provoking for your child.

Your child needs to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable so that they learn to trust themselves more when challenging situations come up.

Summing It All Up:

So to sum up, the three things you can do instead of rescuing your child when they're not in real danger is firstly, listen to and validate your child's feelings when they're feeling stressed or anxious.

Secondly, refrain from automatically rescuing your child and instead ask open possibility questions that encourage your child to think for themselves so they learn to come up with their own solutions.

And thirdly, encourage your child to step outside their comfort zone and take risks so they get used to feeling uncomfortable.

Instead of fearing that feeling, when you stop rescuing your child you’re actually doing your child a big favour. Because the more your child's able to navigate their way through challenges, the more confident they'll feel. And I'm sure you want that for your child.

I trust this video and article have been helpful.

See other posts like this one:

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Do Time Outs Really Work?

Are time outs truly effective in teaching children valuable lessons, or do they inadvertently hinder kids’ learning and emotional growth? Many parents and educators rely on time outs as a disciplinary tool, but does this method work for our kids? Join me as we explore time outs' effectiveness and discover alternative approaches that prioritise empathy and understanding.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Discover How 3 Easy Steps Can Help Your Anxious Child Thrive

In the realm of children's anxiety, the concept of contagion takes on a profound significance. Children often catch anxiety from their environment, absorbing fears and uncertainties from parents, peers, and the world around them.

Sunday, March 03, 2024

A Mother's Journey from Heartache to Healing

Do you want to have more joy in your family? Today, I'm opening up about something very personal, something I've never shared quite like this before. I'm going to share a lesson that not only comes from our weekly parenting classes but also from my own journey.

Why Rescuing Your Anxious Child Can Be A Big Mistake

As the parent of an anxious child it's natural to want to rescue them. This video explains why that's a mistake and the better way to help.

In recent posts we’ve looked at two of the most common problems I see parents unknowingly making with their anxious child. (Click these links if you missed Mistake #1 and Mistake #2.

Today we’re looking at the 3rd of these most common mistakes.

And it’s all about rescuing.

Now as parents, we want to save our children from situations which are hurting them. That’s only natural.

But, unless it’s a life-threatening situation, rescuing your child can do more harm than good.

You see, instead of helping them, you’re actually taking away your child’s power.

You’re teaching them to be a victim and to look to others for help.

Eventually, they begin to believe they can’t handle things on their own…

…so, they stop trying.

Here’s a short, to the point video where I explain what you can do instead. So rather than jumping in to rescue your child when they face a tough situation, you’re giving them the opportunity to develop valuable life skills, confidence and resilience:

Anxious Child Mistake #3:

Hello, it's Sue Stevenson here. Today I want to talk to you about the third mistake that parents often make, and that is to rescue your child.

Now, does it distress you when you see your child filled with fear, feeling too afraid to step outside their comfort zone?

I’m sure it does. I get it. No parent wants to see their child suffer. So you naturally want to make your child's life as happy, comfortable, and pain free as possible.

Yet every time you rescue your child from a situation that isn't life threatening or dangerous, you're actually enabling them to take on the role of victim. I wonder if this is resonating for you at all. It’s quite natural for many parents to do, automatically, without even thinking about it.

Why Is This A Mistake?

You see, by solving your child's problems for them, you are actually stopping them from thinking for themselves. And research shows that the more we allow our kids the opportunity to think and solve problems for themselves, the more resilient they become.

So how do you stop rescuing your child and start helping them to think for themselves?

Well, here's three things I want you to do.

The 3 Step Solution:

Firstly, when your child starts telling you about something that's gone wrong or something that they're upset or scared about, just firstly listen to them and validate how they're feeling.

Then secondly, instead of automatically jumping into rescuer problem solving mode, by immediately giving your child advice and telling them what to do to resolve the problem, start asking them open possibility questions.

For example, “What do you think you could do about this?”

Or, “What could you say to Joe so that Joe doesn't do this again?”

Or “How could you respond differently next time?”

Maybe you could get them to say, “What could you say to yourself so that you feel more confident next time this happens?”

Asking questions gets your child to think for themselves, which fires off the neurons in their brain and teaches them how to move toward a solution. And the more you get your child to practice solving their own problems, the more confident they'll feel about solving the next challenge that comes along.

Then thirdly, encourage your child to take risks and feel uncomfortable. Too many parents think their job is to protect their child from any kind of pain or discomfort.

Yet your child must step outside their comfort zone to learn how to handle challenges. And if you don't give your child as many opportunities as possible to practice stepping outside their comfort zone, most new situations will feel scary and will be anxiety provoking for your child.

Your child needs to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable so that they learn to trust themselves more when challenging situations come up.

Summing It All Up:

So to sum up, the three things you can do instead of rescuing your child when they're not in real danger is firstly, listen to and validate your child's feelings when they're feeling stressed or anxious.

Secondly, refrain from automatically rescuing your child and instead ask open possibility questions that encourage your child to think for themselves so they learn to come up with their own solutions.

And thirdly, encourage your child to step outside their comfort zone and take risks so they get used to feeling uncomfortable.

Instead of fearing that feeling, when you stop rescuing your child you’re actually doing your child a big favour. Because the more your child's able to navigate their way through challenges, the more confident they'll feel. And I'm sure you want that for your child.

I trust this video and article have been helpful.

See other posts like this one:

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Do Time Outs Really Work?

Are time outs truly effective in teaching children valuable lessons, or do they inadvertently hinder kids’ learning and emotional growth? Many parents and educators rely on time outs as a disciplinary tool, but does this method work for our kids? Join me as we explore time outs' effectiveness and discover alternative approaches that prioritise empathy and understanding.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Discover How 3 Easy Steps Can Help Your Anxious Child Thrive

In the realm of children's anxiety, the concept of contagion takes on a profound significance. Children often catch anxiety from their environment, absorbing fears and uncertainties from parents, peers, and the world around them.

Sunday, March 03, 2024

A Mother's Journey from Heartache to Healing

Do you want to have more joy in your family? Today, I'm opening up about something very personal, something I've never shared quite like this before. I'm going to share a lesson that not only comes from our weekly parenting classes but also from my own journey.

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