When assignments or social situations are difficult, some people become discouraged and have difficulty finding more positive solutions. This is due to self-defeating thoughts. Young children may find that they become frustrated and give up rather than asking for help. In class, I role-played the following situations: receiving a worksheet that a student did not understand and having a friend reject a request to play a game. We discussed the negative thoughts and how they result in sadness, anger, or worry and no problem solving takes place. Then we went through the scenario using problem solving techniques. Students stopped the negative thoughts, then came up with solutions as well as an accurate reading of the situation: you’re not the only one who doesn’t understand, you can ask for help, you can practice with your parents at home, etc.
Reinforcement at Home
Talk with your child about a situation where they became frustrated and gave up. What are some solutions that they can think of now that might have helped them to have a better outcome?
Resources: Building Emotional Intelligence by Goleman and The Optimistic Child by Seligm