Helping/encouraging the negative child.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 05-16-2012, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I gave birth to a mini me.  winky.gif  She is very bright but is easily frustrated and gives up/won't try if she doesn't know how to do something.  She is 3  (will be 4 in July)  so most things I just don't push but there are times that I think she would benefit from working through it.  It could be anything from getting dressed, putting on shoes or coloring a picture.

Can anyone give me hints to work through some of these things?

Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and Decker the Wrecker (May'13)
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#2 of 2 Old 05-17-2012, 07:39 AM
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A lot of this is just normal for the age. Kids this age often have inflated ideas of their own competence, low frustration tolerance, and not much in their problem-solving toolboox to help them work through the gap between where they're at and where they want to be. My older kids were very much perfectionists and often didn't try for fear of failing. I encouraged them to give "three good tries" (or however many years old they were), telling them that I didn't expect them to learn today, but the tries would help them be closer to learning by tomorrow. A casual, no-big-deal cheerful tone of voice helped. Keeping track in some way of the work towards mastery helped them see that they were accomplishing good work, even if they hadn't yet achieved success. For instance, colouring in a square on a chart every day that they tried ____, so that they could see in a tangible way that they were accruing experience. Giving them privacy while they were trying often helped minimize frustration, because the stakes seemed lower when they weren't "failing" in front of me. Giving feedback prior to the next day's attempt rather than after today's failed attempt minimized negativity. Structuring and breaking down the problem for them was helpful: "See if you can draw this line, straight up and down. That would be a really good start. I'll do the cross pieces for you. And why don't we do one page of F's together like this every day..." And it helped if I shared my mistakes and inaccuracies with them as I lived my life, and took on new things that I wasn't yet at all good at, so they could see that even grown-ups have to learn some things gradually. 



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