Facebook Live Q&A Video 4

Facebook Live Q&A Video 4

Facebook Live #AskCoachCaroline Event hosted on Monday, April 1st, 2019.

This month’s theme is when should I intervene with my child’s friendships? (Example: play dates, reading text messages, etc.)

If you have a question you’d like to ask your question in the live feed or submit your question to carolinemaguireauthor.com/ask. Even if your question is not answered this month, there is always something to gain from these relatable questions. After all, we’re in this together.

Ask Coach Caroline

If you have a question you would like Coach Caroline to answer on her site, please submit it using the form below.

Facebook Live Q&A Video 3

Facebook Live Q&A Video 3

We rescheduled our Facebook Live #AskCoachCaroline Event for Monday, March 11th, 2019.

This month our theme was how do you help your child deal with loneliness when they feel left out and say, “I have no friends”?

If you have a question you’d like to ask your question in the live feed or submit your question to carolinemaguireauthor.com/ask. Even if your question is not answered this month, there is always something to gain from these relatable questions. After all, we’re in this together.

Ask Coach Caroline

If you have a question you would like Coach Caroline to answer on her site, please submit it using the form below.

Facebook Live Q&A Video 2

Facebook Live Q&A Video 2

My Facebook Live event was at my home office on Monday, January 7, 2019. I’ve posted the entire video here for you to view. You can also go and view it on my Facebook page.

This month we are highlighting two major questions:

  1. What do you do when your kid is oblivious to their social problem
  2. What are other kids their age are doing to be social?

Ask Coach Caroline

If you have a question you would like Coach Caroline to answer on her site, please submit it using the form below.

Facebook Live Q&A Video 1

Facebook Live Q&A Video 1

First Facebook Live Event

My first Facebook Live event was at my home office on Monday, December 3, 2018. I’ve posted the entire event video, but you can also skip to question 6 with the time information below.

Question 6:

My child does not think before they speak. What can I do as a parent?

Begins at: 25:07 | Ends at: 29:01

Question 5:

My child is being bullied on the bus, should I call the school?

Begin at: 18:20 | Ends at: 24:03

Question 4:

My child won’t talk to me and locks themself in their room. How can I make them talk to me?

Begin at: 14:41 | Ends at: 18:04

Question 3:

Should I push my child to socialize with other kids?

Begin at: 9:30 | Ends at: 14:40

Question 2:

How can you start to rebuild a relationship with your child that has been damaged?

Begin at: 5:31 | Ends at: 9:29

Question 1:

How do you parent an Introvert when you are an Extrovert?

Begin at: 2:11 | Ends at: 5:30

Ask Coach Caroline

If you have a question you would like Coach Caroline to answer on her site, please submit it using the form below.

My child is shy and refuses to play with new kids.

My child is shy and refuses to play with new kids.

My child won’t join anything and refuses to try to play with new kids- she is so shy and says it is too hard. But in life we have to approach other people.

First if your child is shy then these things are hard for her. The big question is, what makes this hard? What makes her avoid trying new things and joining in. Ask the questions, because sometimes it is about the child not knowing what to do or how to join in. So this is where you come in, you will make a pact with your child and agree to try something out of your comfort zone and to work on something hard for you and she will work on this. She can pick any activity and she just has to show up. A good conversation to have is to use this comfort zone tool.

Comfort Zone: Cozy, Creative, Courageous

We all know how it feels to tackle something outside our comfort zone—all the more when it’s something hard for us. This can be a low-stress way to engage the child who is struggling to keep an open mind or continue in the process, who may have trouble with change, one who says there is no problem, or just shows less buy-in than you wish.

  1. Explain what a “comfort zone” is and what it means to when something is “outside your comfort zone.” Use examples from your own daily life—things you do or have done that easily in your comfort zone, toward the edge of your comfort zone and clearly outside it. For example, I was nervous to learn to ski but I tried it, and it felt uncomfortable at first. You can prompt your child by asking questions about this idea of being uncomfortable and stretching to get beyond it. “Remember when you went to a new soccer team and felt like you wanted to stay with the old one?” Explain that in order to change and grow, we all must be willing to lean into discomfort and engage in the process.
  2. On a piece of paper, have your child draw a large circle to represent his comfort zone. Leave a margin around the circle—that’s going to be the space for things outside his comfort zone.
  3. Ask him to jot inside it things he does that are inside his comfort zone. These might include joining in with younger kids, staying out of the lunchroom, sitting only with one safe friend, things he loves like Legos, going to grandparent’s house, the after school program he prefers, eating favorite foods, playing with the same people or in the same place.
  4. Then ask him to jot outside the circle some things that are outside his comfort zone. Let your child tell you what those are.
  5. If your child hasn’t already named specific social expectations or situations, then turn to a few of those your child has been working on and ask, “Would _____ be inside your comfort zone or outside your comfort zone?

Ask Coach Caroline

If you have a question you would like Coach Caroline to answer on her site, please submit it using the form below.

My teenage son disappears into the basement and never engages with us.

My teenage son disappears into the basement and never engages with us.

My teenage son just disappears into the basement and he never engages with us. He plays video games all the time. When I try to talk about it he says he has virtual friends. He has never had good social skills. What do I do?

First set the scene, you have to create an opportunity to actually talk. It sounds like there is a larger conversation about how much time he spends in the basement. Think about talking to him about what he likes about virtual friends and what he likes about video games. Meet him where he is, and ask him to come up and spend more time in the house with you. Pick a time and place most comfortable for your child to have this initial discussion. Kids tend to be more receptive to conversation when they’re physically comfortable, unhurried and undistracted. Some other ways to set the scene:

  • Approach your child when he is in a pretty good mood. Not on the heels of a blow-up or meltdown. Talk to your child privately, without other siblings around.
  • Pick a quiet place—no phones or screens to distract you.
  • Try to be as direct as possible. Some children respond better when you tell them that you want to talk with them about something.

As you start to have the conversation, you can say:

  • “I have something I’d like to talk with you about.”
  • “I have noticed you spend a lot of time on video games.”

Then ask questions and have a conversation. Don’t judge the games and don’t assume the virtual world is bad because then you will alienate him. Don’t demand he give it up. Research shows that when kids have outside text communication with virtual friends they bridge to real friendships. And your child is likely to shut down if you shut down virtual friends. So having a conversation and helping him open up about his social avoidance is so important.

Use Open-ended Questions

By asking open-ended questions, you encourage your child to talk about his friendship situation fully and candidly. Open-ended questions use the words who, what, when, where, and how. Below are some conversation starters:

  • What do you like about video games?
  • What interests you?
  • What is the virtual world like?
  • What makes the virtual friendships appealing?
  • I have noticed that sometimes you have a hard time with (identify a behavior). What makes (name the behavior) hard for you?

If your child resists, ask him, “What feels hard about this?”

If he denies there is any friendship problem, you can say, “Well I have noticed…” and then name a specific series of situations. Ask him what feels uncomfortable or makes him afraid of making that change. Share with him the things that could happen if he were willing to work on his friendship skills and ask him what he would like to be different. You will share with him a picture of possibilities—what it could be like. Some key phrases that are helpful:

  • “I am curious”
  • “Tell me more about that.”
  • “What is that like for you?
  • “What does that feel like?

When you are curious and really listen to your child’s feelings, you can never go wrong.

Clarify Concerns and Express Empathy

As your child is responding to your questions, be sure to clarify his concerns by being a reflective listener: Listen closely, repeat back what you understand your child to be saying, and ask if you understand correctly. You can say: Here’s what I hear you saying…is that right? If your child feels that his concerns are heard and validated, he will be more open to hearing what you have to say. Below are some tips on how to be a good reflective listener.

  • Repeat back your child’s statement without giving an opinion. By repeating his statement, your child also hears what he has said.
  • Confirm with your child that you captured his thoughts and feelings accurately.
  • Clarify your child’s thoughts and feelings by asking questions.
  • Accept and validate your child’s sentiments.
  • Express empathy: “I hear you,” “I get it,” “That must be hard.”
  • Use you and I statements, such as “You are overwhelmed” and “I am sad you are lonely.”

Ask Coach Caroline

If you have a question you would like Coach Caroline to answer on her site, please submit it using the form below.

My daughter is avoiding everything this year.

My daughter is avoiding everything this year.

My daughter is avoiding everything this year. She seems to be sad, she is missing the bus on purpose and asking to be home schooled. I think this has to do with friends. But when I ask her she says she is fine. What do I do?

  • Don’t Surrender the Conversation
    It’s easy to be rebuffed by your child and then give up. By surrendering the conversation, you are leaving your child without critical guidance. Start by finding a consistent time or a positive place to talk. Break up the routine. Spend time with your child one- on- one without siblings, and give your child the space to hear that you care and that you are worried. The time together will help your child feel comfortable opening up to you.
  • No Matter What They Say Empathize
    Information is power. Often as parents, it is difficult not to react to what your child says. We’ve all launched right into blame, punishment, advice and, then the, “I told you so.” No matter what your child says — he skipped school, is avoiding lunch, or he broke the coffee table — let go of the desire to jump in and react. Take a moment to breathe, and then, listen. The larger goal is to gain your child’s trust and is more important than any minor rule infraction. Taking a moment to step back will help your child know that he can always feel comfortable coming to you.
  • Reflect, Clarify and be Curious
    Paraphrasing what your child says and then repeating it back to him, shows empathy and helps you clarify your child’s concerns.
  • For example, he might declare that he believes that, “people should invite me to play—I shouldn’t have to approach them.” “Reflect” this statement back to him — “What I hear you are saying is that you won’t approach anyone; they must come to you.” By summarizing and repeating his statements, you allow your child to clarify, share more information, and to tell his interpretation of the statement. By being curious and trying to understand his perspective you invite him to be comfortable opening up to you.
  • Don’t Impose Your Goals on the Situation
    Ask your child questions and listen. Do not assume you know the reasons for your child’s behavior. Do not apply pressure and impose your own goals and agenda on the situation. Getting your child to feel comfortable talking to you is about hearing and waiting and showing confidence that your child has the capacity to learn and grow.
  • Partner and Problem Solve with your Child
    Like any of us, children share more when they feel heard and understood. They can put their guard down, engage more readily in the coaching process, commit to developing their social skills, and invest in their success. When you allow for more of a two-way conversation, your child will be more comfortable opening up. Having a calm, open conversation in the heat of the moment allows your child to know that in the future, he can count on you as a partner rather than a judge.

Ask Coach Caroline

If you have a question you would like Coach Caroline to answer on her site, please submit it using the form below.

What if my child won’t even discuss getting help for social skills?

What if my child won’t even discuss getting help for social skills?

When children are resistant it often means that the activity is hard for her. To help your child be more comfortable, you will likely have many conversations with her. We often talk about “paving the way” for a conversation that we anticipate will be sensitive or difficult. But even before we pave the way, we prep the ground. Lay the groundwork for problem solving and changing habits of behavior by modeling for your child that it’s okay to need help and ask for it. Begin by pointing out in front of your child moments when you or others need to tackle something that’s not in your comfort zone or you need to ask for help. When you call to schedule a home or car repair, make point of telling your child that you’re doing it, and why: “This is more than I know how to fix so it’s time for me to ask for help, and call a plumber.” Share stories from work and elsewhere about how people do what they can for themselves, but sometimes they need to ask for help—it’s normal! Let your child know what a go-to person is and that you would love to be her “go-to” person for social situations and friends and all things.

Ask Coach Caroline

If you have a question you would like Coach Caroline to answer on her site, please submit it using the form below.

 

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