In these uncertain times, giving our children the essential skills to thrive is vital. While we need to make sure our children can tolerate certain stresses and become resilient in the face of adversity, one skill that everybody can benefit from is asking for help. Knowing how and when to ask for help is so important, but it’s something many children often struggle with. Their feelings may get in the way, they may have beliefs about themselves that prevent them from reaching out for help, or they may think they are doing it too frequently. So, how can we guide our children so they can ask for help effectively?
Set the Right Example
If we want to teach our children how to ask for help properly, we need to practice what we preach. If our children see us as individuals who are constantly proud and strong and never ask for any help in our lives, then they may believe it is a sign of weakness to ask for help when they need support. If you ever need help with something, let your children know you sought advice or assistance from others.
Asking for help in life is not a sign of weakness; instead, it involves getting guidance about something you are not sure about. After all, we are not experts in everything, which is a great lesson to teach our children. Whether we need support from extremely helpful injury lawyers because we are not legal specialists or we need moral support from our partners because we are going through a difficult time, if our children see us setting the right example by asking for help when we need it, this will reduce the stigma and any stress related to the notion of seeking help from others.
Teach Them How To Evaluate the Situation
Asking for help can trigger a variety of confusing emotions for kids. They may feel the inclination to give up too quickly because something is difficult, or they may suffer from black and white thinking, where they struggle with a task and jump immediately to judging themselves as incapable of succeeding.
The most important thing for our children to do is to anchor their emotions. If they get frustrated easily, then they need to first evaluate the situation. They may think that they can’t do a task correctly, but there may be aspects of it they can do. When it comes to asking for help in terms of something like homework, encourage them to get some clarity and to figure out what they already know before reaching out to someone for help. You can guide your children so they are sure to evaluate the situation in a way that emotions don’t become so overwhelming. This will help give them the courage and confidence to realize they are capable. Taking a step back and gaining a new perspective about a challenge is a great lesson that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Help Them Understand When to Ask for Help
We don’t want our children to rely on others to get them through all of their problems. Encouraging them to understand when the best time is to ask for help is important for their success. Some children may feel they need to continually ask for help because it gives them some reassurance, but this can detract from the helper’s ability to support others. A great example is in the classroom. Teaching our children to manage their time effectively so they ask for help at an opportune moment is beneficial. This will also help them learn to be patient and to balance multiple tasks effectively. We can teach our children how to understand what they can solve with and without help.
Asking for help is a complicated skill. We want our children to get support if they need it, but only if they really need it. In addition, it is a skill that requires them to manage their own feelings, assess the appropriateness of the situation, and communicate what they need effectively. By thinking through these issues and giving our children the tools to address these situations, we can empower them to problem-solve and understand that asking for help is not a stigma.
How do you guide your children to ask for help?