From Imperfect Families:

Empathize: Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand what they may be feeling. “That writing assignment’s pretty challenging, eh?”

Rewrite the script: Instead of “Writing is hard. I’m stupid,” your child could say, “I’m working hard on writing” or “Making mistakes is part of learning.” Or even, “Mom, I’m so frustrated with this assignment.”

Problem-solve together: Resist the urge to suggest a solution to the problem or lead them to an answer that seems right to you. Work as a team.

Challenge negative thoughts and feelings: Feelings come and go, they do not define you. Your child may FEEL unloveable, but feeling something doesn’t mean it’s true. Someone can struggle and not be stupid.

Focus on the Good: Learn to let go. If you need to focus on repairing a relationship, do that. Try to give 5 positive statements to every negative.

Teach Self-Coping: Learn self-calming and coping strategies beyond deep breathing.

Value Perseverance: Acknowledge and value perseverance and effort.

Get Help if You Need It: You and your child don’t need to go it alone.

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