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Eat Smart for a Great Start Challenge

Encouraging Kids Through Challenges

Boy peeling carrotsSometimes our kids need us to encourage them to go the extra mile or to try new, maybe slightly daunting, things. On tomorrow’s episode of “Arthur,” George wants to complete a long-distance race, and no one thinks he can do it. You can help your kids face new challenges by being a positive sounding board for their feelings and emotions. When cooking with kids, you can help them stretch by giving them new challenges. Giving them more difficult tasks to master will help them build both their skills and confidence, as long as you continue to provide support when they hit bumps along the road.

Here are a few tips to help you be a better listener so that you can encourage your child when they hit those inevitable bumps.

  • Accept your childs negative emotions. Sometimes your child just needs time to work through their emotions, and giving them that can help them learn to handle their emotions on their own.
  • Avoid attacking your childs character. If your child is exhibiting negative behaviors, don’t criticize them, but explain that what they’re doing isn’t a wise choice. Instead of “Don’t be silly,” try “I know you’re disappointed that your decorations on that cupcake don’t look exactly like you planned, but you can try again.”
  • Talk it out to find solutions. If your child is struggling to accomplish a goal, talk with them about ways they could get there. Have them put forward some solutions, and talk about some of your ideas too. Can you practice with them? Can they practice with a friend?
  • Admit your own mistakes and shortcomings. Talking about ways that you have messed up and asking your child for solutions reminds them that everyone has trouble on the way to success.

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