6. Keep a Realistic Perspective
Although it can be tempting to set up unrealistic expectations when you are cheering a child on — telling them everything is going to be great — you are setting them up for failure and disappointment. It is unlikely that every child will want to be their friend in a new school, or that they will come in first of their class all the time. Kids can also be hypercritical of themselves, so it’s important to give them a realistic perspective on life.
For example, if a child doesn’t do well on a test or is worried they won’t do well, acknowledge the work they did to prepare for the test. Let them know they did their best, and see if there are ways they can improve for the next one.
Dr. Lisa Brown tells ChildMind.org that adults can help by talking with kids in a way that “contextualizes their experience” and offers a “broader perspective.” Not matter what the situation, help the child identify specifically what upset them and let them know that one bad experience doesn’t equate to being the worst at something.