Checklist for parenting stressed children

A group of parents compiled the following checklist to help you parent your stressed child.

• Model the type of behavior you desire. If you talk respectfully and take time-outs when angry, you are teaching your children to do so. If you scream and hit, that is how your children will handle their anger.

• Seek professional help for any behaviors that trouble you.

• Teach your children to talk about their feelings.

• Listen to your children with understanding and empathy.

• Be honest and admit your mistakes.

• Help your children examine why they are behaving as they are.

• Distinguish between feelings (always okay) and acting on strong feelings in destructive or hurtful ways (not okay).

• Have clear rules and consequences for violations.

• Teach children to recognize when they are losing control.

• Discuss acceptable outlets for anger.

• Give frequent reassurances of your love.

• Provide plenty of hugs and physical affection.

• Notice and compliment your child for good behavior.

• Recognize that the disturbing behaviors result from stress, pain, and drugs.

• Remember that with lots of structure, love, and time the problems will become more manageable.

Our children look to us to learn how to handle adversity. They learn how to cope from us. Although it is extremely difficult to live through your childs diagnosis and treatment for cancer, it must be done. So we each need to reach deep into our hearts and minds to help our children endure and grow.

Children Learn What They Live

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn. If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight. If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy. If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty. If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient. If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence. If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate. If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice. If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith. If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself. If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, He learns to find love in the world.

—Dorothy Law Nolte


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