Parenting Questions for Dr. Mary & Lynn

Mary Sheedy Kurcinka Ed.D and Lynn Jessen MA

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Words to Use When Your Child Refuses to Start a Task

“It’s time to do your work.” Whether it is time to begin schoolwork, practice an instrument, or simply play independently, these may be fighting words at your house. But they do not have to be. When “getting started,” is an on-going issue, you can utilize the problem-solving skills Lynn and I introduced previously.  

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Words to Use When Your Child is Feeling Anxious

How do you respond when your child refuses to go upstairs by himself, cries if you attempt to leave him before he’s asleep at bedtime, or doesn’t want to go to an activity you know he will love once he gets there? When a child is experiencing anxiety, he demonstrates it in his behavior. Often that behavior is a vehement protest, but sometimes, it is a complete “shut down,” in which he is incapable of doing things he could do just yesterday. No matter which response, it is tempting to simply avoid the difficult situation, but anxiety increases when situations are avoided. Instead, it is important to gently nudge your child forward, empowering and supporting him to take on this challenge. Your words and actions make a difference.

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