Some examples we have seen recently of lack of coping skills:
1. David (Four and a half) attends a reunion party at our day care and is carried for the first hour because he is “shy”.
2. Beth gets a small sliver in her finger. When it is safely and easily removed by her teacher, she says she cannot play anymore, her finger hurts too much to play and to call her mom to go home.
3. Mariam arrives at daycare with Band-Aids on both arms. When we inquire what could have happened, she says her arms hurt. We find out nothing specific happened, but she wanted to stay home so her dad appeased her with Band-Aids.
4. Jake is four, but still cries if anyone touches him no matter how slightly. We notice when his mom is here and this behavior is displayed, she sympathizes and promises him a treat on the way home.
5. Melinda joined our day care when she was three and a half. Academically, she lacks skills but more importantly, she has no pride of achievement. No matter how little effort she puts into her assignment, or how sloppy the results are, her parents praise her and give her a star. They never share ideas or ways she could use to improve her skills. As a result, she have very little motivation to improve her performance.
One of the most important responsibilities of a parent is to prepare their child to successfully cope with the conditions and expectations they will encounter as they grow and have move experiences outside the home on their own. You want your child to be confident, assertive, challenged and self motivated.
-Give them more responsibilities at home as you are preparing them to be more accountable.
-Pay constant attention to their social skills and follow up immediately with examples and solutions when they did not successfully handle a challenge.
-Always praise them for their effort, and only refer to the results as “Excellent” when they actually are.
-Be open to exposing them to social or educational situations where they will be on their own and not always bringing along a friend. They should be expected to interact without your assistance.
-Become an expert at knowing when they are faking an illness in order to stay at home. If this becomes a habit, investigate what is really happening and resolve that!
-Make sure they are on a nutritious diet with adequate sleep.
-Reward them for every accomplishment. This is a maturing process and the achievement should be the reward.
-Compare them to a sibling, a friend, or a classmate. This experience revolves solely around how well THEY handle it.
Remember, you are influencing and preparing them for the road they will travel for the rest of their life!