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Does Your Anxious Child Disappoint You?

This quick video explains why telling your anxious child you are disappointed in them is so harmful... and how to respond instead.

In this post we’re looking at how to avoid the 5th common mistake when handling situations with your anxious child. (If you missed the videos discussing the first 4 mistakes, you can access them here: Mistake #1Mistake #2,Mistake #3  and Mistake #4

Mistake #5 taps into our normal human frailties, which we all have.

When your child lets you down or doesn’t do as they promised, it’s natural to be disappointed, or even angry. But telling your child, “I’m disappointed in you” is a devastating thing for a child to hear.

And after all, that’s not strictly correct, is it?

You’re not disappointed in your child. You’re disappointed that the situation has happened… again.

In the video below you’ll see the more effective way to handle this situation – a technique that will boost your child, rather than hurting them:

Anxious Child Mistake #5:

Hello, it's Sue Stevenson here. Today I want to talk to you about the fifth mistake parents often make when they have an anxious child. And that is, you say to your child, “I'm disappointed in you.”

For example, let’s say your child's promised you they'd go to school tomorrow, or they'd stay at their auntie's house while you and your partner have a much needed night off. Or perhaps they said they'd do their homework. Yet when the time came, they didn't do it.

Instead their anxiety kicked in yet again and they didn't do the thing they said they'd do.

You kind of know it's not their fault. But you're so over your child's meltdowns, their resistance, and promises they don't keep. All of these factors can make you feel like they're manipulating you at times. And this time you've had enough!

It's completely understandable to feel this way.

So what do you do?

You tell your child you're disappointed in them.

Now, disappointment is a part of life. We face disappointment not long after we come into the world. And one big lesson I've now learned is that when we don't learn how to manage our own disappointment, we tend to dump it on the people around us, especially our kids.

So although I did it as a parent, I now know that when you tell your child, “I'm disappointed in you”, what you are really saying to your child is, “You failed to please me”.

Sadly, this can bring disrespect and a lack of trust from your child toward you. And I'm sure you don't want that.

What Can You Do?

So what can you do if you've said this to your child?

Well, firstly, you can have what I describe as a repair conversation with your child and apologise to them. Let them know that you regret saying it because they're not a disappointment to you at all.

They're quite the opposite. And let them know that you said this because the truth is you were really disappointed with yourself and you shouldn't have taken it out on them. Let them know you're going to work on improving that part of yourself.

Then secondly, remember that trust is the cure for disappointment. So when you get an opportunity, say to your child, “I trust that you've got this. I trust you to do your best. I trust you to do the right thing”. Say it without being tempted to tell them what the right thing is.

Thirdly – here's the clincher that might really get you thinking…

                                 Know that your job is to build the trust between yourself and your child.

It's not the other way around. Your child doesn't need to prove to you that they're trustworthy. You need to trust them. You see, trust is the real power to reducing anxiety here.

Encourage your child to trust their own thoughts, feelings, opinions, and abilities. Because when your child starts trusting themselves, they'll definitely please you then.

To Sum It All Up:

So just to sum up, rather than tell your child you are disappointed in them, firstly, have a repair conversation with your child.

And secondly, tell your child you trust them.

Then thirdly, know that it's your job as a parent to build the trust between yourself and your child. You need to earn their trust, not the other way around.

What I want you to do now is to focus on trusting your child on their journey through life, rather than tell them that they didn't live up to your standards. And I trust this has been helpful for you today. :)

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.

Does Your Anxious Child Disappoint You?

This quick video explains why telling your anxious child you are disappointed in them is so harmful... and how to respond instead.

In this post we’re looking at how to avoid the 5th common mistake when handling situations with your anxious child. (If you missed the videos discussing the first 4 mistakes, you can access them here: Mistake #1Mistake #2,Mistake #3  and Mistake #4

Mistake #5 taps into our normal human frailties, which we all have.

When your child lets you down or doesn’t do as they promised, it’s natural to be disappointed, or even angry. But telling your child, “I’m disappointed in you” is a devastating thing for a child to hear.

And after all, that’s not strictly correct, is it?

You’re not disappointed in your child. You’re disappointed that the situation has happened… again.

In the video below you’ll see the more effective way to handle this situation – a technique that will boost your child, rather than hurting them:

Anxious Child Mistake #5:

Hello, it's Sue Stevenson here. Today I want to talk to you about the fifth mistake parents often make when they have an anxious child. And that is, you say to your child, “I'm disappointed in you.”

For example, let’s say your child's promised you they'd go to school tomorrow, or they'd stay at their auntie's house while you and your partner have a much needed night off. Or perhaps they said they'd do their homework. Yet when the time came, they didn't do it.

Instead their anxiety kicked in yet again and they didn't do the thing they said they'd do.

You kind of know it's not their fault. But you're so over your child's meltdowns, their resistance, and promises they don't keep. All of these factors can make you feel like they're manipulating you at times. And this time you've had enough!

It's completely understandable to feel this way.

So what do you do?

You tell your child you're disappointed in them.

Now, disappointment is a part of life. We face disappointment not long after we come into the world. And one big lesson I've now learned is that when we don't learn how to manage our own disappointment, we tend to dump it on the people around us, especially our kids.

So although I did it as a parent, I now know that when you tell your child, “I'm disappointed in you”, what you are really saying to your child is, “You failed to please me”.

Sadly, this can bring disrespect and a lack of trust from your child toward you. And I'm sure you don't want that.

What Can You Do?

So what can you do if you've said this to your child?

Well, firstly, you can have what I describe as a repair conversation with your child and apologise to them. Let them know that you regret saying it because they're not a disappointment to you at all.

They're quite the opposite. And let them know that you said this because the truth is you were really disappointed with yourself and you shouldn't have taken it out on them. Let them know you're going to work on improving that part of yourself.

Then secondly, remember that trust is the cure for disappointment. So when you get an opportunity, say to your child, “I trust that you've got this. I trust you to do your best. I trust you to do the right thing”. Say it without being tempted to tell them what the right thing is.

Thirdly – here's the clincher that might really get you thinking…

                                 Know that your job is to build the trust between yourself and your child.

It's not the other way around. Your child doesn't need to prove to you that they're trustworthy. You need to trust them. You see, trust is the real power to reducing anxiety here.

Encourage your child to trust their own thoughts, feelings, opinions, and abilities. Because when your child starts trusting themselves, they'll definitely please you then.

To Sum It All Up:

So just to sum up, rather than tell your child you are disappointed in them, firstly, have a repair conversation with your child.

And secondly, tell your child you trust them.

Then thirdly, know that it's your job as a parent to build the trust between yourself and your child. You need to earn their trust, not the other way around.

What I want you to do now is to focus on trusting your child on their journey through life, rather than tell them that they didn't live up to your standards. And I trust this has been helpful for you today. :)

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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