How To Talk About Your Child During the Holidays
Everyone loves to share stories about their children. We are all proud of our children. However, the way we discuss how our children are doing in school can impact how they view themselves. Here are some tips on how to share in a way that builds your child up. It is natural to want to talk about the struggles we have with our children to get support from those around us.
1) Discuss characteristics not specifics. Instead of “Jack is progressing very well”, say “Jack is working so hard and he’s really improved on his organization.” This helps deemphasize grading as a measure of success and reminds your child what you think is most important.
2) Do not talk negatively about your child around people who gossip. Sadly, there are people out there who take someone earnestly talking about the struggles their child is going through to use as social capital. I once had a student who quit hockey completely because the whole team found out that they were 2 grade levels behind as some gossip told all the moms on the team within earshot of some players.
3) Ask your child what they want to share. Your child’s diagnosis is theirs to own and control. Some children want people to know their diagnosis because it helps explain their behaviour. Other children are still working through their own feelings of shame. Talk to your children about whether or not they want to share it with people outside their circle of support.
4) Remember that children hear and internalize more than you are aware of. When I was 12 my father referred to me as lazy to a tableful of adults when he didn’t know I was listening. I still remember that. You might think the kids are playing the Switch in the other room and not listening. If your child is at the residence, you should talk about them how you would if they were standing right next to you.