Most kids go through phases where they are sassy, sarcastic, mouthy, or disrespectful. As a parent, it’s hard to know when to let it slide and when to address the problem. That’s why parents often ask me the following:
“How do you differentiate between disrespectful, sassy, or fresh language and abusive language?”
These behaviors are typically triggered by your child’s frustration, anger, and desire to get back at others when they think something is unfair. I believe that these behaviors are found on a continuum that I call the “inappropriate verbal response continuum.”
The extreme end of the continuum is verbal abuse. The middle is various forms of disrespect. And the mild end is annoying but not necessarily disrespectful behaviors.
This article will focus on how to handle kids in the middle and milder ends of the continuum. Nevertheless, I will begin by briefly discussing the extreme, verbal abuse end of the continuum.
The Special Case of Verbal Abuse
The extreme end of the inappropriate verbal response continuum is verbal abuse. Abusive language is generally a personal attack upon another person. It’s meant to hurt the other person and make them feel small and afraid. Verbal abuse often includes foul language and threats of violence designed to intimidate the other person to get them to give in.
Kids who use abusive language and behavior want to attack you so that they can control you. These kids often don’t care about consequences and are not intimidated by them. For these kids, abusive behavior has to be handled very clearly and sternly.
If your child’s behavior is verging on or has already entered into the verbal abuse stage, please refer to the following articles:
Kids Who Are Verbally Abusive: The Creation of a Defiant Child
How to Stop Threats and Verbal Abuse
Why Are Kids Disrespectful?
Parents often ask me why kids talk to adults in disrespectful ways? I believe children and teens do a lot of things because they don’t know how to express emotions appropriately. To make matters worse, they learn a lot from watching other kids and people around them who don’t know how to express themselves appropriately either.
If your daughter is frustrated and doesn’t know how to show it, and she sees somebody else roll their eyes and make a face, she’ll absorb that lesson without even thinking about it. Then, the next time she’s frustrated at home, she’ll roll her eyes and make a face at you.
Don’t Overreact to Mild Disrespect
If she gets a reaction to her eye roll, that will often just reinforce the behavior because she knows she’s gotten to you. Don’t kid yourself: if you threaten your child by saying, “Don’t do that to me, young lady, or you’ll be grounded,” that will only make her do it more. Kids who act disrespectfully will not hesitate to push your buttons. It’s the one place in their young lives where they have actual power over someone.
When my son was in middle school, for some reason he went through a period where he said, “Yeah, right,” to everything in a sarcastic way. I responded to him once or twice, and the conversation went like this:
Me: “Please remember to put your clothes away.” My son: “Yeah, right.” (with sarcasm) Me: “Is something wrong? Why are you using that tone with me?” My son: “What tone? I don’t know what you mean.” Me: “I just don’t like the way you’re talking to me. The way you say ‘yeah, right’ sarcastically. Try to talk better.” My son: “Yeah, right.” (with sarcasm)
His final response to me was disrespectful, but also a bit clever and funny in a teenager sort of way. I became a little frustrated and annoyed, but I also knew better than to show it. I didn’t want to empower that behavior—or necessarily stifle it. Instead, my wife and I allied ourselves together and were able to laugh it off. And, eventually, it wore itself out.
And that’s the important thing to remember here. If you respond to mildly annoying behavior in a strong way repeatedly, you give it power and strength. As your child gets into adolescence, they’ll start to find ways to push your buttons. And when you confront them, they’ll say very innocently, “What did I say? What did I do?”
I personally think that the less you challenge mildly disrespectful behavior, the less you give it power. Remember, the less power you give it, the more it’s going to die its natural death. That process is called “extinction” in psychology.
If you don’t respond to a behavior and give it power, the more likely that it will become extinct. It’s going to die out like the dinosaurs. But if you feed the behavior and play with it, you’ll only nurture the disrespect.
Keep in mind that if you suddenly stop responding to the behavior, they’ll initially use it more often in an attempt to get it to work again. This is normal and is a sort of last gasp before the behavior dies.
In my opinion, the worst thing you can do is challenge it inconsistently. Let’s say sometimes you let it slide, and then sometimes you confront your child. When you do that, those behaviors tend to become more entrenched. I understand that many times it’s not easy to ignore mildly disrespectful behavior. That’s why I think it’s helpful to vent to your spouse, a friend, or a relative about it.
How to Respond to Your Child’s Sarcasm
In the middle of the inappropriate verbal response continuum is sarcasm. Kids generally manifest this in two ways. They either (1) make sarcastic comments when they feel under pressure, or (2) they use chronic sarcasm as a way to manage their angry feelings safely. By safely, I mean it’s safer to show their anger through sarcasm than it is through any other means they’ve learned.
Usually, sarcasm is learned and modeled by adults. For example, when adults are upset at their kid’s performance, they may make sarcastic comments. These comments are hurtful, and kids develop a defense to it by becoming sarcastic themselves. You’ll see kids who are cynical and sarcastic using that language in all areas of their life. Its function is to help them deflect any blame while downloading a piece of anger onto the person who’s the target.
Therefore, part of the response to sarcasm in kids is for the adults to speak differently. Personally, I think it’s funny when a comedian uses sarcastic humor, but it’s not funny when a child or an adult talks to me that way. It’s belittling and inappropriate. And it hurts healthy and honest communication.
Healthy Communication With Your Child is Paramount
All these mechanisms—sarcasm, disrespect, sassy talk—hurt communication. When you see this behavior, you have to ask yourself, “What’s being communicated that’s making my child respond that way?”
It’s usually not hard to discover what your child is threatened by that leads to sarcasm. Sometimes it’s a secret, sometimes it’s a task they haven’t completed, and sometimes it’s a power struggle. Whatever it is, once you’ve identified it, it becomes much easier to defuse.
When your child is using sarcasm, I think an effective thing to do is ask exactly what is going on:
“How come you get sarcastic whenever we talk about your homework?”
Asking in this manner is effective because it both identifies the issue and puts your child on the spot.
If your child then says, “I don’t get sarcastic when I talk about homework,” then say:
“Fine, then let’s keep going. I expect you not to be sarcastic.”
Or, if your child says, “I get sarcastic because you don’t understand,” you can say:
“It’s your job to make me understand. And sarcasm doesn’t help.”
Another very powerful way to respond to sarcasm is to simply say:
“Don’t talk to me that way; I don’t like it.”
And then turn around and walk away. When you walk away, you take all the power out of the room with you. If you argue or try to make a point, you’re giving your child more power.
Of course, simply saying “Don’t be sarcastic” is an appropriate response and is useful as a reminder to your child, but it doesn’t get to the heart of the matter the way that more pointed questions do.
What to Do When Your Child Uses Sarcasm With Siblings
When your kids use this kind of language with each other, I know it’s hard as a parent to stay out of it. But you may be surprised to hear that I think you have to try. Your kids need to learn how to stand up for themselves.
Believe me, they’re going to get it in the schoolyard, on the school bus, or in the classroom. No matter what, they will have to deal with it. That doesn’t make it right, and it doesn’t make it good. But the bottom line is that they need to build up a callous to these kinds of comments.
Think of it this way: at the beginning of the summer, using a shovel hurts. You get blisters, and your hands are sore and tender. After a while, they get calloused, and then they don’t hurt anymore. That’s exactly what you want your kids to do with mildly sarcastic comments.
When something rubs your child the wrong way, try not to jump in there unless something is being said that’s abusive, disgusting, or demeaning. If that’s happening and your child escalates, intervene immediately and pull that child aside. Give them a choice of two things at that time: to either change their language or be removed from the group.
Calling your child aside is important because often the embarrassment of being corrected in front of other kids can cause them to escalate even further. Is it the end of the world if you give your child a consequence in front of the other kids? No, but I think those things are best dealt with privately. If your goal is to get them to change their behavior, separating them from others gives them a better chance of hearing what you’re saying.
Ignore Annoying Behaviors That Are Harmless
Things that are not personal attacks or which are not meant to demean you can be handled by just trying to ignore them.
It’s easy and natural to become irritated when your kid says, “Duh! Nice one, Mom,” or “Duh.” This is where you have to draw the line between what kind of disrespect requires your attention and what doesn’t. “Planned ignoring” is the key here. Planned ignoring is the concept where you decide consciously to ignore attention-seeking behaviors as long as they’re not overtly harmful or abusive to others.
This is tricky because there are also terms that might be considered mild by some but which are actually put-downs that I believe you need to address. For example, when your child says, “That’s stupid,” to you, make no mistake—he means you’re stupid.
And by the way, when you tell your child, “That’s stupid,” and they say, “Don’t call me stupid,” you should apologize. If you say, “Well, I didn’t say you were stupid, I said the behavior was stupid,” your child is going to see right through that. Parent mistakes like this are an excellent opportunity to model an honest apology to show your child how to take responsibility for a mistake.
My advice is, don’t use the word “stupid” in a sentence when you’re dealing with your child unless you want them to feel stupid. There are plenty of other words that are not demeaning. And by the same token, if your child says, “That’s stupid,” you don’t have to say, “Are you calling me stupid?” You can just say very clearly:
“There’s no name-calling in this house. ”
I believe there should be a consequence for name-calling. Set limits on it very clearly and hold your child accountable. Every time they say the word “stupid” to someone in the family, for example, they go to bed 15 minutes earlier or have 15 minutes less electronics time. They should be held accountable.
What to Do When Your Child Says, “Do It Yourself”
When you ask your child to do something, and they come back with “Do it yourself,” I think your response should be very clear:
“I’m not going to do it myself. I told you to do it, and you will have the following consequence until you do it.”
For younger kids, you might take away a toy until they’ve complied. For older kids, you might take away video games, TV, or their phone. In the Total Transformation Program®, I call this technique “stop the show.”
If your child gets rude and says, “I’m not going to do it; this isn’t my chore,” you can say:
“Well, I asked you to do it, and I want you to do it now. ”
Don’t get into an argument about whose chore it is. If the non-compliance persists, then the show stops. In other words, whatever your child is doing is over for the time being. Have your child take a seat in their room without any outside stimulation such as electronics.
Understand that when kids get over-stimulated, they get stuck. So the first step in getting them unstuck is to avoid stimulating them by demanding things. Start by taking away all the stimuli that you can. Sending them to their rooms and shutting off electronics really helps.
Research shows that after three minutes with no stimulation, your child’s body slows down. So wait for a few minutes and then go in and talk with them. Don’t say, “Do you want to talk about it?” Sometimes we ask kids questions when we don’t really want them to make a decision. Instead, say to them:
“Let’s talk about this. I asked you to mow the lawn. You won’t be able to come out of your room until you agree to do it. Would you like to do it now, or do you want to stay in your room a little longer?”
And if they say, “No, I’m not doing it,” then say,
“Okay, let me know when you’re ready.”
And leave the room. If they want their privileges back, they will comply eventually.
What to Do When Kids Are Fresh in Public
These days, adolescents have less fear of being sassy, mouthy, or disrespectful to their parents and other adults in public. I think if they’re acting that way in public, then you can correct them in public. Say:
“Don’t talk to me that way; I don’t like it.”
If the rude attitude doesn’t stop, then take them to the car.
If your child is smart-alecky to other adults, you can use the same technique. Say:
“Don’t talk to Mrs. Smith that way; I don’t like it.”
If your child persists, you can say:
“Let’s go. Goodbye, Mrs. Smith.”
Then take your child and leave. By the way, if it’s another parent’s child being rude to you, I still think you can say,
“Don’t talk to me that way, Tommy, I don’t like it. ”
Then turn away from them. Use simple, matter-of-fact language. Have a serious look on your face. You don’t have to look mean or angry, but don’t look like you’re cracking a joke either.
By the way, I don’t believe in giving your child a second or third chance when they’re nasty or rude to you. I think this creates bad habits in kids. From the time you start giving them chances, your child will say to themselves, “Well, the first one is free, so I won’t get in trouble if I call my mom a name.” I know it may be heartbreaking not to give your child a second chance, but that’s the best way for them to learn.
Sassy Bossy Back Talk - Understanding Why It Happens and What to Do
by Melissa Benaroya
The smile that lights up your day; that laugh that warms you up with joy and optimism; the ability to show you the world through innocent eyes: kids can be such amazing parts of our lives with their constant ability to learn and grow, teaching us how to see the big picture and to love someone so much it hurts.
And then they learn the word “No.”
It can be a shock to the system when your little angel, who so recently curled up on your lap and thought you were the coolest thing on the planet, suddenly starts rolling their eyes at your requests or talks back with sarcastic comments. How did they learn that kind of sass? What makes them think they can get away with being a smart aleck? The nerve!
This type of behavior is absolutely normal and developmentally appropriate. When they’re being sassy, there’s usually something underneath that, driving that behavior. Kids often use this kind of talk to feel powerful, so it’s a clear indicator that your child is feeling powerless.
Sure, snarky communication is a normal developmental process for kids, but it doesn’t make it easier to swallow. How quickly those warm fuzzy feelings you had about your child can be tainted with annoyance, frustration, and anger. So it is important that we look underneath the surface so we can determine what is driving the behavior so we can determine the best way to respond.
Five Solutions for Sassy Back Talk
Be a detective.
First, identify how you feel. Ask yourself, “What is this bringing up for me right now?” If you feel an overwhelming sense of anger, acknowledge it, but don’t let it dictate your discussion. Or if you feel the impulse to “be the boss,” it’s a good indicator that you feel like you’re losing control. This is a good time to take a breath and look at the bigger picture.
Then, assess how your child feels.
Many parents fall into knee-jerk reactions to what their child is doing rather than why their child is doing and thus the behavior continues.
Instead of getting caught up in your own frustrations, learn what your child’s point of view is. Ask warmly, “What’s going on, honey?” or for younger kids, closed-ended questions like, “Do you feel frustrated?” “Do you feel like you’ve been bossed around all day, or do you need some attention right now?”
Most importantly, don’t tell your child how they feel—it’s not helpful and can lead to more resistance.
Respond with empathy.
Kids don’t make the choice, ‘I’m going to be a smart aleck right now to see what happens’—that behavior is driven by their needs and emotions. They’re just being reactive to their emotional state without knowing why.
So once you uncover those needs and emotions, respond to them with warmth and understanding, while setting clear expectations for behavior. This might sound something like, “Wow, you sound really frustrated that you cannot have your ice cream before dinner. It’s okay to feel frustrated, but it’s not okay to roll your eyes and talk to me like that.”
Then you can compassionately engage your child in problem-solving and finding other ways to get their needs met. If your child is acting out with snotty remarks, and you’ve determined they just need your attention, offer them alternatives. “Remember when I was on the phone yesterday and you asked me to play Legos with you? What was that thing you said that worked so well?” or “What’s another way you can get my attention?” or even, “You know, when I was a kid, here’s what I did to get my dad’s attention, and it worked!”
Use enforceable statements.
Have you ever been out to eat and your child made a scene? If you’re like most parents, you may have gone immediately for the big guns: “If you don’t cut it out, we’re going home.”
Did they cut it out? Likely not. Did you go home? Likely not.
Coming right out of the gate with a threat doesn’t always work with children because it doesn’t address their need behind the misbehavior. It just tells them they need to behave in a different way, and their needs may never get met. Not a fun prospect, is it?
And worse, if you don’t follow through, your child will learn you don’t actually mean what you say, and they will continue to test your boundaries.
Enforceable Statements are simply you respectfully stating what you’re willing to do or allow. That way if your child continues to be a smart aleck, they learn this is not an effective way of getting a parent to do what you want them to do.
This may sound something like, “I’m happy to talk with you when you stop rolling your eyes,” or, “I’m here for you, and we can talk more when your tone of voice sounds more like mine. ”
Give limited choices.
Giving kids some control can help to avoid those misbehaviors in the first place. One way of sharing control with children is by offering limited choices. Some examples might sound like: “You need to clean your room now: do you want to start with the puzzle or with the stuffed animals?” or “Do you want me to help you clean up, or do you want to do it by yourself?” or “Do you want listen to music or sing the clean up song while putting toys away?”
These may sound like trifles to an adult, but to a young child who has little to no control over their lives it can make a huge difference in their sense of autonomy and freedom.
Of course, don’t offer options you’re not willing to follow through on. Remember the restaurant example? If you say, “Either shape up right now or we’re going home,” then you better leave if they don’t change their behavior. Be calm, firm and offer limited choices as often as you can.
Model respectful communication.
Most of all, walk your talk. If your child hears you respond to your partner with sarcasm and snark, or even hears you speaking ill of a cashier after you’ve already left the store, they will learn that it’s situationally acceptable to be snarky.
It’s unrealistic to have expectations that your child will be respectful and polite if you are not respectful and polite. Nothing will corrode your credibility faster than when you try to demand respectful communication from them. “But you roll your eyes at Dad all the time! Why is it so bad when I grumble at you?”
Be sure you’re modelling the type of behavior and communication style you want to see from your children. Feeling resentful toward your partner? Talk about it with them earnestly, without a snotty tone. Had a hard day at work? Avoid badmouthing your boss while your kids are in earshot.
It may not come naturally at first, but putting effort into understanding and directing your children’s communication will certainly nurture your relationship with them, their development and relationships. And as much as you can, don’t take the scoffs and eye-rolls personally.
Need a cheat sheet to remember all this? Click here.
Melissa Benaroya, LICSW, is a Seattle-based parent coach, speaker and author in the Seattle area (MelissaBenaroya.com). She created the Childproof Parenting online course and is the co-founder of GROW Parenting and Mommy Matters. Melissa provides parents with the tools and support they need to raise healthy children and find more joy in parenting. Melissa offers parent coaching and classes and frequently speaks at area schools and businesses. Check out Melissa’s blog for more great tips on common parenting issues and Facebook for the latest news in parent education!
5 phrases that will help if a child is bullied at school
What to do if a child is bullied at school? Last time we figured out which phrases parents should avoid in this situation. Now director of the Internet Development Foundation and professor at the Faculty of Psychology of Moscow State University. Lomonosova Galina Soldatova, as part of the Cartoon Network anti-bullying campaign, tells what words can help a child cope with psychological discomfort.
The first task is to calm the child and provide him with a sense of security and emotional comfort. No matter how much you want to jump up and run to demand the offender to an answer and blame the teachers. The last thing a child needs right now is an irritated and agitated parent who cannot control his condition. Let him know that you appreciate his frankness. For many children, sharing such a problem with an adult is very, very difficult. Fear of being branded as a snitch or aggravating the situation, self-doubt, unwillingness to disappoint and upset mom or dad, shame - all this often prevents you from opening up.
It is important to show that you heard the child. That he is no longer alone with his problem, that an adult knows and will definitely help "," give back. They are perceived by the child as advice to figure everything out on your own, not to distract the parent with all sorts of nonsense and not to wait for someone to help him. Of course, one must sensibly assess the scale of the catastrophe. If we are talking about a 16-year-old teenager who quarreled with a classmate, then another strategy is already needed here, allowing him to cope with the conflict on his own. But in elementary and middle school, children absolutely need the support of their parents. But it is support, and not extraordinary guardianship and protection from any potential difficulties.
It happens that parents try to find the cause of bullying in the child himself: “Think about how you could offend the guys?”, “Is someone else offended or just you?”, “Well, you yourself know that you redhead/skinny/fat/wearing glasses.” It's out of the question. The child is not to blame for anything.
No one can be to blame for being humiliated, insulted, beaten or ignored
Bullying is not a problem of one or two students, but of the whole team, including teachers. And bullying cannot be justified by some characteristics of the child. The task of the parent is to convey this idea as clearly and understandably as possible.
Maybe the child did or said something that could offend or hurt another. But in this case, an adequate response will be a one-time showdown between children, after which everything will go on as usual. That is why you should remember the real markers of bullying (intentionality, repetition, inequality of strength) and distinguish it from a fleeting quarrel. In one incident, the child may be at fault. No one is immune from mistakes, passionate words and rash actions, but it is worth reminding him that you do not accept such behavior. But in bullying - it is definitely not his fault. It’s already so hard for a child now to blame an inferiority complex on him.
Such phrases serve several purposes at once. First, by involving the child in a discussion about solving the problem, you can help him regain some of the lost control. Now this will not harm the general psycho-emotional background. Secondly, you gradually teach him to make decisions and take responsibility for them. Thirdly, this approach allows you to demonstrate to the child that you treat him like an adult and listen to him - this is also important for self-esteem. Fourthly, sometimes, in addition to an opinion from the outside, a look from the inside is also needed.
Try to find out as much as possible about what is happening, ask leading questions, but do not turn a calm conversation into an interrogation
Who is involved in bullying, what does it say, what the teacher says, how classmates react. Sometimes, in the course of such a discussion, unexpected or non-obvious details may be revealed that the child, due to age, does not pay attention to. It is easier for a parent to notice them. And finally, by participating in the development of the plan, the child is always aware of events that directly concern him. This significantly reduces the level of anxiety on at least one point: there is no need to worry that mom will come to school without warning or dad will decide to deal with offenders like a man and will only make things worse.
After the first front of work with the child and having decided on the initial plan, it is worth talking with the teacher, class teacher or curator. Try to remain calm and objective, provide all the facts you have (dictaphone recordings, words of witnesses, printouts of calls and messages, correspondence on social networks when it comes to cyberbullying) and arguments. And it’s better not to ask to somehow influence the situation, but to ask what specific steps the teacher will take (and is not going to take) to stop bullying. What can he offer to provide the child with the highest possible level of safety in his lessons and during breaks.
If a productive dialogue with the teacher did not work out, then you need to contact the director or someone from the administration. Do not leave the school until you are sure that you were really heard, and not got off with on-duty assurances that this will not happen again.
It doesn't hurt to talk to the offender's parents. Of course, it may also be that an aggressive child terrorizes the whole family, and at home no one is able to cope with him. But this is no longer your headache.
You need to convey a simple idea to the offender and his parents: if bullying does not stop, you will be forced to raise this issue at the next parent meeting
And if other moms or dads join you, you can talk about transferring an aggressive child to another school or , in severe cases, to apply to the appropriate authorities with evidence.
However, in addition to words, one should not forget about actions: it is desirable to combine moral support and practical help. If the situation is critical or you see that the child is going through what is happening too deeply, transfer him to another school. You can put it in some positive form - for example, say that the new school has an in-depth program in his favorite subject, strong teachers, or there are some unusual circles. In a word, come up with something so that the child does not perceive this translation as an escape.
If you think that the situation is not hopeless, support the child at all possible levels. Invite him to enroll in a sports section or a martial arts club, where he can not only find new friends, but also become stronger, more resilient, and therefore more self-confident. Get to know his classmates and invite them to visit more often, team up with other parents and exchange phone numbers with them and with the class teacher. Provide your child with a comfortable and calm atmosphere at home, praise him more often for his successes, spend as much time as possible together.
How to behave with children? Psychologist's advice
When disturbing, frightening events occur or a situation of uncertainty arises, parents are often worried about questions: how to behave with a child correctly, how to tell him about what is happening and whether to tell him at all what should alert the child's behavior, and what, on the contrary, is normal.
In child psychology, it is customary to distinguish several age periods. Consider the features of interaction with children of preschool (3-7 years old) and primary school (7-11 years old) ages.
A few recommendations:
The greatest influence on the child is not even the situation itself, but the reaction to it of close adults who surround him. For a preschooler, such adults will be parents and those adult family members with whom communication takes place every day; For the younger student, the teacher also plays a significant role:
Children are very sensitive to the emotional state of close, significant adults. When an adult is upset, anxious, scared, the child also experiences these emotions. If the child does not know the reason, then helplessness is added to fear and anxiety. Therefore, when you see a child's need to talk, do not ignore it.
Example: You are upset and need some time to recover. The child feels this and insistently asks the question “What happened?”
Wrong answer: "Nothing happened, go play (draw, do your homework)"
The correct answer is: “I’m a little upset (alarmed, sad) right now, because . .., let’s draw a robot now (do your math homework), and then we’ll go for a walk (we’ll have dinner).”
When talking to your child, use simple, child-friendly phrases and expressions.
Ask for the child's point of view. This will help to understand what worries, scares or worries him, and you can provide the necessary psychological support.
Try to ensure that the positions of adults do not contradict each other. Putting a child in a situation of choice, you place an unbearable burden on him.
Children very quickly adapt to the situation, BUT! Only on condition that the behavior of adults gives them such an opportunity.
Pay attention to information hygiene:
Pay attention to what you watch or talk about with relatives, friends, acquaintances. Try not to see or hear what is not intended for him: emotional disputes with colorful examples, news releases with frightening details. Sometimes there is a feeling that the child does not pay attention to what is happening - this is an illusion! Based on the information obtained in this way, children often draw their own conclusions about what is happening, which are often the cause of children's fears.
At primary school age, the information field of the child expands, it includes school friends, classmates, many at this age master communication on the Internet. Show interest in this area, ask about his friends and hobbies. A trusting relationship will help you spot trouble or danger.
Talk to children about topics that concern them, do not limit yourself to the phrases “everything will be fine”, “this is an adult topic, you won’t understand”, etc. If adults do not give an answer to a question of interest to the child, he will find the answer in another source, which may be unreliable and even dangerous.
Pay attention to the behavior and mode of life of the child:
Adults experience difficult moments, realizing, thinking over and discussing what is happening. Children have other ways. It is easier for a preschooler to cope with what is happening by playing or drawing it. Therefore, stories that frighten a child can be found in a game or drawings. For younger students, it is important to study, master new knowledge, so often children of this age try to learn more about what excites, frightens or disturbs. Do not prohibit children from these activities and do not blame them. The best strategy is discussion and cooperation. And if the behavior of the child is alarming, consult a child psychologist for advice.
Organize your child's life by keeping the usual routine of the day as much as possible. The usual course of life, everyday affairs, the presence of a plan for the next day, week, month allow you to overcome the feeling of helplessness and anxiety, allow you to feel confident.
Do not neglect sports, communication, hobbies yourself and do not deprive this child. If something from the previous possibilities turned out to be unavailable, try to find a replacement. These activities allow you to replenish the resources and energy spent on experiences.
Seek professional help if necessary. You may need to consult a child psychologist if:
The child's behavior has changed dramatically, these changes are persistent - they last several weeks or longer.
The child has lost interest in things that were previously important to him: play, study, sports.
Significantly changed the nature of communication with others: he became withdrawn, stopped communicating with friends, refuses to go to school or kindergarten.
Symptoms such as stuttering, nightmares and difficulty falling asleep, intense fear appeared.
You feel the need for psychological help, even if there are no signs listed above.
We remind you that the Ministry of Education has organized a round-the-clock hotline for psychological assistance for children and parents based on the resource center of the Moscow State University of Psychology and Education.