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How To Support Your Child In Their Times Of Stress – Step 2

In this content-only video you’ll discover the second step of how to support your child in their times of stress.

Knowing how to support your child in their times of stress is one of the many challenging parts of being a parent.

In our last blog article and video, we looked at a scenario in which Effie, one of the wonderful mums I coach within my CALM Parents and Kids Hub coaching program, found herself in when her daughter’s anxiety took hold of her.

If you haven’t yet seen that video, watch it now, as we share real-life examples of Step 1 of what to do when your child is in this situation. Then, in today’s blog and video, we’re delving deeper and exploring the second step of this simple process.

Watch this content only video now so you understand exactly how to support your child when facing similar situations:

Step 2 – Conversation Of Logic:

So we’ve got step one, which is to validate and help your child feel seen and heard. And then step two is that you can lead into a conversation of logic.

Now, the trap a lot of us fall into is that the logic conversation becomes us telling our child what to do, however, sometimes it's necessary for us to give them advice and to be that strength for them because they simply are unable to do it themselves.

Therefore sometimes we do need to step up and advise and instruct. However, I always like to give them the opportunity to have input if they can.

So in this situation it could be like she's saying, “I can't do it. I can't do it.” Rather than get into a “Yes, you can. Yes, you can. I know you can,” kind of conversation, what we can do is we can say,

“I get that you feel like you can't right now. What's just one thing you can do right now?”

Now why have I asked that question, “What's one thing you can do?”


It can be a distraction.

It gets them to focus on something positive.

To get them thinking about a solution.

To give them direction.

It's always empowered – empowering solutions; activating the solution part of the brain.

Because remember I’ve said that once we're in a heightened state, our brain is in overwhelm and everything's gone all over the place.

In our mind, our thoughts are all over the place. Does that make sense?

Focus On Just One Thing:

It's like we've got a whole stack of tabs open and we've just gone into overwhelm and we need to shut down a whole lot of tabs and just focus on one of them. ONE thing.

So that's what's going on. We want to simplify it for them so that they can feel back in control, back in charge. And just one thing… “What's one thing that you can do?”

Whatever that thing is – it might be, “I just want to sit on the bench”, or “I just want to sit with you.”

“Okay, okay. So you just want to sit? Is that all you feel like you can do right now?” Okay, we're checking in. “Is that all you feel like you can do right now?”

And then they might say, “Yeah, I just want to.”

“For how long do you want to sit on the bench? How long are you going to sit on the bench?”

The Second Part Of Your Question:

Now I'm going to put another bit to this sentence.

“For how long are you going to sit on the bench before you go back?”

Now why am I saying, “…before you go back?”

I include “…before you go back?” because I don't want her to think now she's going to sit on the bench. So I've said “…when…” or “…before you go back,” or “You can sit here, and then you can go back.”

Okay, “Well let's sit on the bench”. Now, while we're sitting on the bench, we want to do something that's calming the nervous system.

The Importance Of Calming The Nervous System:

We are not just going to sit on the bench and get more and more nervous, okay? We want to calm their nervous system so that then they're thinking clearly, then they're getting their brave feet on and then they're able to go back again.

So we're saying, “Okay, so alright, you can sit on the bench and let's take some big deep breaths together to help settle you down. Let's breathe together.” And we do something while they're sitting on the bench. We don't just leave them in stress.

Then we’re saying, “Okay, so that's what we'll do. We'll do that for a couple of minutes before you go back. Let's do some breathing. And Mum's right here with you. I'm right here with you. Let's do some breathing together before you go back.”

Make The Assumption:

So we are making that assumption: they’re going back. We've planted that idea in their head that they’re going back.

And then we can say, “Okay, let's do it for two minutes. Let's just relax and chill. Just relax, honey. Chill for two minutes.” And we're settling them down.

They might want to talk or say something in a couple of minutes and then you are going to gauge it and say, “Okay, do you feel like you're ready? Let's go. It's two minutes. How do you feel now? You ready?”

The conversation might go something like this:

“Oh, oh, I don't want to yet.”

So you might say, “Okay, so let's figure out how you can do it, okay?”

“Oh, but I can't.”

“Let's figure out how you can. I wonder what you need to do so that you can do it.”


They’re now in logical mind because you've already calmed it. So now we can figure out a way that they can do it.

The conversation may continue a little like this:

“I wonder what would make it a little bit easier for you, honey? What would make it a little bit easier?”

“I want you to come with me.”

“And do what? What would you like Mum to do?”

“Oh, I want you to be there.”


Or something like that.

Yeah, But…:

Quite often they don't need that. Like in Effie’s case, her daughter went back. But I'm putting all these little steps in so if they're doing this and saying “Oh yeah, but…”, “Yeah, but…”

Yeah, but…” is one of the most common things that kids say.

So if you are with your child, let’s continue how that conversation might go.

You can say, “Okay, so you want me. And what did you want me to do while I'm there?”

“Oh, I just want you there.”

“Oh, okay. Well how about I go over there with you and we talk to the teacher. What could we tell her?”

See how I'm just kind of setting up a situation where they’re empowered to get themselves back on track?

You could perhaps say, “What was the tricky bit? What was the tricky bit you said again?”

Sometimes they say, “Just don't worry about it. I'm just going to do it”.

It's really clever trick because your child is now more in a logical mind, they’re probably going to just go, “Just don't worry about it, Mum. It's okay. I can do it.”

Quite often that's what they do.

And then it's, “Okay, go you! You've got this!”

Now I'm not saying this is going to happen every time, but it's a beautiful way you're helping them to be in charge by asking them the questions so that they have to take charge and think for themselves.

And then eventually most kids want to be independent. They don't want to have to have mum standing there when they've got their class on. So as soon as they've got through that hurdle and they're thinking about their forward thinking, they're in solution mode. They come up with their solution quite quickly.

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.

How To Support Your Child In Their Times Of Stress – Step 2

In this content-only video you’ll discover the second step of how to support your child in their times of stress.

Knowing how to support your child in their times of stress is one of the many challenging parts of being a parent.

In our last blog article and video, we looked at a scenario in which Effie, one of the wonderful mums I coach within my CALM Parents and Kids Hub coaching program, found herself in when her daughter’s anxiety took hold of her.

If you haven’t yet seen that video, watch it now, as we share real-life examples of Step 1 of what to do when your child is in this situation. Then, in today’s blog and video, we’re delving deeper and exploring the second step of this simple process.

Watch this content only video now so you understand exactly how to support your child when facing similar situations:

Step 2 – Conversation Of Logic:

So we’ve got step one, which is to validate and help your child feel seen and heard. And then step two is that you can lead into a conversation of logic.

Now, the trap a lot of us fall into is that the logic conversation becomes us telling our child what to do, however, sometimes it's necessary for us to give them advice and to be that strength for them because they simply are unable to do it themselves.

Therefore sometimes we do need to step up and advise and instruct. However, I always like to give them the opportunity to have input if they can.

So in this situation it could be like she's saying, “I can't do it. I can't do it.” Rather than get into a “Yes, you can. Yes, you can. I know you can,” kind of conversation, what we can do is we can say,

“I get that you feel like you can't right now. What's just one thing you can do right now?”

Now why have I asked that question, “What's one thing you can do?”


It can be a distraction.

It gets them to focus on something positive.

To get them thinking about a solution.

To give them direction.

It's always empowered – empowering solutions; activating the solution part of the brain.

Because remember I’ve said that once we're in a heightened state, our brain is in overwhelm and everything's gone all over the place.

In our mind, our thoughts are all over the place. Does that make sense?

Focus On Just One Thing:

It's like we've got a whole stack of tabs open and we've just gone into overwhelm and we need to shut down a whole lot of tabs and just focus on one of them. ONE thing.

So that's what's going on. We want to simplify it for them so that they can feel back in control, back in charge. And just one thing… “What's one thing that you can do?”

Whatever that thing is – it might be, “I just want to sit on the bench”, or “I just want to sit with you.”

“Okay, okay. So you just want to sit? Is that all you feel like you can do right now?” Okay, we're checking in. “Is that all you feel like you can do right now?”

And then they might say, “Yeah, I just want to.”

“For how long do you want to sit on the bench? How long are you going to sit on the bench?”

The Second Part Of Your Question:

Now I'm going to put another bit to this sentence.

“For how long are you going to sit on the bench before you go back?”

Now why am I saying, “…before you go back?”

I include “…before you go back?” because I don't want her to think now she's going to sit on the bench. So I've said “…when…” or “…before you go back,” or “You can sit here, and then you can go back.”

Okay, “Well let's sit on the bench”. Now, while we're sitting on the bench, we want to do something that's calming the nervous system.

The Importance Of Calming The Nervous System:

We are not just going to sit on the bench and get more and more nervous, okay? We want to calm their nervous system so that then they're thinking clearly, then they're getting their brave feet on and then they're able to go back again.

So we're saying, “Okay, so alright, you can sit on the bench and let's take some big deep breaths together to help settle you down. Let's breathe together.” And we do something while they're sitting on the bench. We don't just leave them in stress.

Then we’re saying, “Okay, so that's what we'll do. We'll do that for a couple of minutes before you go back. Let's do some breathing. And Mum's right here with you. I'm right here with you. Let's do some breathing together before you go back.”

Make The Assumption:

So we are making that assumption: they’re going back. We've planted that idea in their head that they’re going back.

And then we can say, “Okay, let's do it for two minutes. Let's just relax and chill. Just relax, honey. Chill for two minutes.” And we're settling them down.

They might want to talk or say something in a couple of minutes and then you are going to gauge it and say, “Okay, do you feel like you're ready? Let's go. It's two minutes. How do you feel now? You ready?”

The conversation might go something like this:

“Oh, oh, I don't want to yet.”

So you might say, “Okay, so let's figure out how you can do it, okay?”

“Oh, but I can't.”

“Let's figure out how you can. I wonder what you need to do so that you can do it.”


They’re now in logical mind because you've already calmed it. So now we can figure out a way that they can do it.

The conversation may continue a little like this:

“I wonder what would make it a little bit easier for you, honey? What would make it a little bit easier?”

“I want you to come with me.”

“And do what? What would you like Mum to do?”

“Oh, I want you to be there.”


Or something like that.

Yeah, But…:

Quite often they don't need that. Like in Effie’s case, her daughter went back. But I'm putting all these little steps in so if they're doing this and saying “Oh yeah, but…”, “Yeah, but…”

Yeah, but…” is one of the most common things that kids say.

So if you are with your child, let’s continue how that conversation might go.

You can say, “Okay, so you want me. And what did you want me to do while I'm there?”

“Oh, I just want you there.”

“Oh, okay. Well how about I go over there with you and we talk to the teacher. What could we tell her?”

See how I'm just kind of setting up a situation where they’re empowered to get themselves back on track?

You could perhaps say, “What was the tricky bit? What was the tricky bit you said again?”

Sometimes they say, “Just don't worry about it. I'm just going to do it”.

It's really clever trick because your child is now more in a logical mind, they’re probably going to just go, “Just don't worry about it, Mum. It's okay. I can do it.”

Quite often that's what they do.

And then it's, “Okay, go you! You've got this!”

Now I'm not saying this is going to happen every time, but it's a beautiful way you're helping them to be in charge by asking them the questions so that they have to take charge and think for themselves.

And then eventually most kids want to be independent. They don't want to have to have mum standing there when they've got their class on. So as soon as they've got through that hurdle and they're thinking about their forward thinking, they're in solution mode. They come up with their solution quite quickly.

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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