Ask Dr. Doug: Don’t Be Too Quick to Help

05/27/2020
NEWS BRIEFS
Southwest Colorado confirmed COVID-19 cases by county: La Plata (200 resident, 18 non-resident), Archuleta (36 resident, 31 non-resident), Montezuma (109), Dolores (1), San Juan (2). Deaths due to Covid: Montezuma (2), Deaths among cases: LaPlata (2), Montezuma (1), sjbpublichealth.org, montezumacounty.org
Colorado COVID-19 totals: 47,968 cases, 6,487 hospitalized, 1,844 deaths among cases, 1,710 deaths due to COVID-19, 548,808 tested, 483 outbreaks, colorado.gov

If you want to build resiliency in your kids, don’t be too quick to rescue them. Let them struggle or try to solve problems on their own before you rush in and try to solve their problems for them.

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HIPARENTS, I’M DR. DOUG.  I’M A FATHER OF FOUR AND A LICENSEDPSYCHOLOGIST HELPING PARENTS BE BETTER LEADERS IN THEIR HOMES.


YOU’VEHEARD ME SAY WE CAN HAVE FUN RAISING RESPECTFUL, RESPONSIBLE ANDRESILIENT KIDS IN THIS CHALLENGING WORLD.  SO, HOW DO WE RAISERESILIENT KIDS?


HAVEYOU EVER SEEN A KID JUST CRUMBLE AT THE FIRST HINT OF DIFFICULTY. IKNOW MANY TEACHERS AT SCHOOL, AND SOME OF YOU PARENTS WHO HAVE BEENTEACHING YOUR KIDS AT HOME, NOTICE THIS AND ARE POINTING OUT THETREMENDOUS NEED FOR KIDS TO DEVELOP RESILIENCY AND DETERMINATION.  


NOTLONG AGO I WATCHED A MOM AT A PARK, HOVERING NEAR HER YOUNG SON WHOWAS ATTEMPTING TO CLIMB A SHORT FLIGHT OF STEPS TO A SLIDE. AS SOONAS THE LITTLE GUY PAUSED AND STRUGGLED TO GET HIS FOOT UP TO THESTEP, MOM SWOOPED OVER AND LIFTED HIM TO THE TOP OF THE STEPS. THENSHE WAITED AT THE BOTTOM, REASSURING HIM “YOU’RE OKAY, YOU’REOKAY.” FORTUNATELY, MOM WAS SOON DISTRACTED BY ONE OF HER OTHERKIDS, “NEEDING HELP” AND BEFORE SHE REALIZED IT, THAT LITTLE GUYWAS ASCENDING THE STEPS AND SLIDING DOWN LIKE A PRO. GOOD NEWS FORTHAT LITTLE BOY’S RESILIENCE DEVELOPMENT.
 
WE KNOW KIDSARE GOING TO GO THROUGH STRUGGLES IN LIFE AND THAT IS A GOOD THING.WE ALSO KNOW THERE WON’T ALWAYS BE SOMEONE THERE TO SOLVE ALL THEIRPROBLEMS OR VERBALLY CODDLE THEM.
 
THE ABILITIES TO 1)MANAGE UNFAVORABLE EVENTS AND TO 2) CONTINUE MOVING FORWARD WHENFACING CHALLENGING TASKS ARE TOP PREDICTORS OF SUCCESS IN MANY AREASOF LIFE. WE MUST NOT ROB KIDS OF THE GIFT OF STRUGGLE – A CRUCIALINGREDIENT IN THE RESILIENCY FORMULA. AS WE ALL KNOW, WE WILL FACECHALLENGING TIMES IN LIFE AND THE MORE RESILIENT WE ARE TO CHALLENGESTHE MORE SUCCESSFUL WE CAN MAKE IT THROUGH THEM.
 
ONE OFTHE EASIEST WAYS TO BEGIN DEVELOPING RESILIENCY WITH OUR KIDS ISSIMPLY ASKING THEM HOW THEY ARE GOING TO HANDLE PROBLEMS. RESISTINGOUR URGE TO QUICKLY SOLVE THE PROBLEM FOR THEM OR TELL THEM WHAT TODO, WE CAN MAKE A SOFT, EMPATHETIC SOUND AND ASK, “HMM, WHATDO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING TO DO?”
 
JUSTTHE ACT OF THINKING ABOUT SOLUTIONS BEGINS THE POWERFUL PROCESS OFOWNING AND SOLVING PROBLEMS. WE WANT KIDS TO BELIEVE SOLUTIONS DON’THAVE TO COME FROM AN OUTSIDE SOURCE, BUT CAN COME FROM INSIDETHEMSELVES. WHETHER THEY COME UP WITH GREAT SOLUTIONS OR NOT, JUSTTHE ACT OF WRESTLING WITH THE PROBLEM WILL BEGIN TO STRENGTHEN THEIR“RESILIENCY MUSCLES.”
 

NOW,SOMETIMES OUR KIDS DO NEED OUR HELP. AND WAITING UNTIL THEY ASK FORHELP BEFORE JUMPING IN TO SOLVE THEIR CHALLENGES CAN HELP TEACHHUMILITY.  A HUMBLE ATTITUDE IS ONE OF THE GREATEST ASSETS WE CANNURTURE IN OUR KIDS. TRULY HUMBLE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT SUCCESS WITHANY CHALLENGING ENDEAVOR REQUIRES MAKING MISTAKES, ADMITTING THEM,AND THEN REQUESTING HELP.  PRIDE CAN BE A HARD PILL TO SWALLOW, BUTSWALLOWING OUR PRIDE AND ASKING FOR HELP LEADS TO A BETTER LIFE.


TOOMANY KIDS DEVELOP THE BAD HABIT OF DISPLAYING HELPLESS LOOKS SO THATADULTS WILL JUMP THROUGH HOOPS TO HELP THEM. THIS PASSIVE, ANDMANIPULATIVE TACTIC, WILL NOT TAKE THEM FAR AS THEY ENTER ADULTHOOD.ASKING FOR HELP CAN BE SCARY FOR MANY KIDS BUT LEARNING TO OVERCOMETHIS FEAR AND ASKING FOR HELP WHEN NECESSARY IS EXTREMELY VALUABLE.WHEN THEY TAKE THIS HEALTHY RISK, THEY HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARNHOW TO GET THEIR NEEDS MET IN MORE ASSERTIVE WAYS.


AMOTHER I WAS WORKING WITH TOLD ME, “NOW THAT I WAIT FOR MY DAUGHTERTO ASK FOR HELP, IT’S REALLY CUT DOWN ON THE POWER STRUGGLESBETWEEN THE TWO OF US.”  WHAT SHE REALIZED WAS THAT BY PROVIDINGHELP TO HER DAUGHTER BEFORE SHE ASKED FOR IT WAS REALLY COMMUNICATINGTHAT SHE DIDN’T BELIEVE IN HER DAUGHTER’S ABILITIES.  BY LETTINGHER DAUGHTER STRUGGLE A LITTLE BIT SHE IS HELPING HER DAUGHTERDEVELOP RESILIENCY WHEN SHE FACES CHALLENGES AND THEN HELPING HERWHEN HER DAUGHTER ASKS FOR HELP IMPROVES THEIR RELATIONSHIP AND HELPSHER DAUGHTER LEARN HOW TO GET HER NEEDS MET IN A HEALTHY ANDASSERTIVE WAY.


PARENTS, WE CANALL BE BETTER LEADERS IN OUR HOMES.  AND BY NOT JUMPING IN TO SOLVEEVERY PROBLEM OR CHALLENGE OUR KID’S ENCOUNTER BEFORE THEY ASK FORHELP WE HAVE MORE FUN RAISING RESPECTFUL, RESPONSIBLE AND RESILIENTKIDS IN THIS CHALLENGING WORLD. I’M DR. DOUG.  PARENTS, BE YOURCHILD’S HERO.



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