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Who Do You Blame When Your Anxious Child Is Upset?

Do you play the blame game when your anxious child is upset? That can actually make matters much worse. But here's what to do instead.

Continuing on with our look at 5 common mistakes parents make when trying to help their anxious child, today we’re looking at a BIG mistake we’ve all made without realising it… (Yes, we’ve all done this!)

Let me start by asking you a question…

                                                       Who do you blame when your child is upset?

It’s a natural human response to be angry at the person who made your child feel this way.

But, where exactly does blame get you?

You’re probably angry on behalf of your child. I get that. But buying into the blame game only makes things worse. This is the 4th big mistake parents can make when trying to help their anxious child.

So, what would be a better response?

This quick, content-filled video shows you a solution to help your child manage their feelings and help them respond to the situation, in a way that will help them to develop confidence and valuable life-skills:


Anxious Child Mistake #4:

Hello, it's Sue Stevenson here. Today I'd like to talk to you about the fourth mistake parents often make when they have an anxious child. And that is, you buy into the blame game and actually escalate the problem.

(If you missed the videos discussing the first 3 mistakes, you can access them here: 
Mistake #1, Mistake #2 and Mistake#3).


A Blame Game Example:

Let’s say your child has come home upset because there's been an incident at school and your child's telling you they've been bullied by either one child or a group of kids at school, and they're telling you they don't want to go back to school.

I get it… this has to be one of the most common complaints from kids at school. Sometimes the teacher knows about it and sometimes they don't.

But this time your child's telling you that the teacher did nothing and just told your child to ignore what the kids said or did. And from what you’re hearing, you are not happy. You've got a child who's having a meltdown and they’re terrified about going to school the next day. For most parents, this can leave you feeling really wound up.

The more you hear about what's happened from your child, the more upset and angry you are becoming. Your child's very emotional and you’re feeling really emotionally charged too. And in your head you're thinking, “This just isn't good enough!”. You are starting to blame the bullies for upsetting your child and you're angry at the teachers for not doing anything to support your child.

What Not To Do:

Now, I get that your primary concern is to help your child, and you definitely want to be on your child's team. But here's what not to do…

Firstly, don't buy into the blame game and get caught up in the conversation that focuses on all the negatives and escalates the problem.

What I mean by this is that when your child's upset, I'm sure you've noticed they can often catastrophise a problem. And this can result in getting caught up in the emotions of the moment, which means we're really buying into the drama.

I'm not saying that you don't take the situation seriously. What I am saying, though, is that it can be very difficult to get an accurate account of a situation when your child's very emotional.

Now, we can all exaggerate, generalise, and catastrophise any situation, but when we do this, the problem only escalates. This can then result in us jumping to some very negative conclusions, often involving blaming and complaining.

So don't do that. But instead, here’s what to do…

The Solution – What You Can Do Instead:

This is the second thing: do your best to respond calmly by focusing on the facts so that you can move toward a solution.

The point here is that until you know all the facts, you really don't know exactly what happened. And the important thing to remember is that you get to choose whether you react because you're emotionally charged by getting wound up about the problem in a very unhelpful way, which can simply fuel your child's anxiety and keep the problem alive.

Or you can choose to respond calmly and support your child to feel safe and secure, knowing that you are right there validating their feelings, helping to guide them toward a helpful solution. I know which one I’d rather, and I’m sure you want the same.

So next time your child comes home from school upset, complaining about an incident that has happened at school, no matter what the issue is, please firstly, don't buy into getting caught up in an emotionally charged negative conversation that only escalates the problem.

Secondly, instead calmly validate your child. Listen to them and help them feel safe and secure, knowing that they've got you on their team to guide them toward coming up with a positive solution so that they can calmly and effectively handle the situation.

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.

Who Do You Blame When Your Anxious Child Is Upset?

Do you play the blame game when your anxious child is upset? That can actually make matters much worse. But here's what to do instead.

Continuing on with our look at 5 common mistakes parents make when trying to help their anxious child, today we’re looking at a BIG mistake we’ve all made without realising it… (Yes, we’ve all done this!)

Let me start by asking you a question…

                                                       Who do you blame when your child is upset?

It’s a natural human response to be angry at the person who made your child feel this way.

But, where exactly does blame get you?

You’re probably angry on behalf of your child. I get that. But buying into the blame game only makes things worse. This is the 4th big mistake parents can make when trying to help their anxious child.

So, what would be a better response?

This quick, content-filled video shows you a solution to help your child manage their feelings and help them respond to the situation, in a way that will help them to develop confidence and valuable life-skills:


Anxious Child Mistake #4:

Hello, it's Sue Stevenson here. Today I'd like to talk to you about the fourth mistake parents often make when they have an anxious child. And that is, you buy into the blame game and actually escalate the problem.

(If you missed the videos discussing the first 3 mistakes, you can access them here: 
Mistake #1, Mistake #2 and Mistake#3).


A Blame Game Example:

Let’s say your child has come home upset because there's been an incident at school and your child's telling you they've been bullied by either one child or a group of kids at school, and they're telling you they don't want to go back to school.

I get it… this has to be one of the most common complaints from kids at school. Sometimes the teacher knows about it and sometimes they don't.

But this time your child's telling you that the teacher did nothing and just told your child to ignore what the kids said or did. And from what you’re hearing, you are not happy. You've got a child who's having a meltdown and they’re terrified about going to school the next day. For most parents, this can leave you feeling really wound up.

The more you hear about what's happened from your child, the more upset and angry you are becoming. Your child's very emotional and you’re feeling really emotionally charged too. And in your head you're thinking, “This just isn't good enough!”. You are starting to blame the bullies for upsetting your child and you're angry at the teachers for not doing anything to support your child.

What Not To Do:

Now, I get that your primary concern is to help your child, and you definitely want to be on your child's team. But here's what not to do…

Firstly, don't buy into the blame game and get caught up in the conversation that focuses on all the negatives and escalates the problem.

What I mean by this is that when your child's upset, I'm sure you've noticed they can often catastrophise a problem. And this can result in getting caught up in the emotions of the moment, which means we're really buying into the drama.

I'm not saying that you don't take the situation seriously. What I am saying, though, is that it can be very difficult to get an accurate account of a situation when your child's very emotional.

Now, we can all exaggerate, generalise, and catastrophise any situation, but when we do this, the problem only escalates. This can then result in us jumping to some very negative conclusions, often involving blaming and complaining.

So don't do that. But instead, here’s what to do…

The Solution – What You Can Do Instead:

This is the second thing: do your best to respond calmly by focusing on the facts so that you can move toward a solution.

The point here is that until you know all the facts, you really don't know exactly what happened. And the important thing to remember is that you get to choose whether you react because you're emotionally charged by getting wound up about the problem in a very unhelpful way, which can simply fuel your child's anxiety and keep the problem alive.

Or you can choose to respond calmly and support your child to feel safe and secure, knowing that you are right there validating their feelings, helping to guide them toward a helpful solution. I know which one I’d rather, and I’m sure you want the same.

So next time your child comes home from school upset, complaining about an incident that has happened at school, no matter what the issue is, please firstly, don't buy into getting caught up in an emotionally charged negative conversation that only escalates the problem.

Secondly, instead calmly validate your child. Listen to them and help them feel safe and secure, knowing that they've got you on their team to guide them toward coming up with a positive solution so that they can calmly and effectively handle the situation.

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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