Dear Ilana and Jess: My 7-year-old daughter has difficulty when we have lots of guests, as we do during Christmas and New Year’s. She tends to get overstimulated and upset. How can I help her cope? — Stan
Dear Stan: We’re sorry to hear that your daughter is struggling! Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to make the holidays easier for her.
First, let your daughter take breaks. Socializing can be a draining prospect, even (and perhaps especially) for someone as young as your daughter. Help her build stamina incrementally by letting her mingle in short bursts. Allow her to take a break every so often, so she can refresh and come back renewed. This will help her engage more effectively when she is present.
Establish clear cut expectations. When asking your daughter to socialize, be specific about what you’d like her to do. For example, you might say, “Honey, I want you to say ‘hi’ to everyone and ask them how they’re doing. They’ll probably ask you how you are and what you’re learning in school, so let’s think about what you might tell them.” Make sure to go through the specific language she’ll use, so that she’s truly prepared to speak up.
Practice! They say it makes perfect for a reason. If your daughter is overwhelmed by large groups, a lack of preparation will only make it worse. Once you’ve gone through different conversation points, practice them each in turn. Roleplay specific discussions she might have beat-for-beat and try to go off script now and again.
Say This: “Honey, I want you to say ‘hi’ to everyone and ask them how they’re doing. They’ll probably ask you how you are and what you’re learning in school, so let’s think about what you might tell them.”
Not That: “Why don’t you want to spend time with your family?”
Say This, Not That is based on the work of Cognition Builders: a global, educational company headed by Ilana Kukoff (Founder & CEO) and Jessica Yuppa Huddy (Chief Learning Officer). Everywhere from New York City to California to Shanghai to Zurich, the Cognition Builders team is called upon by A-list entertainers, politicians, CEOs, and CFOs to resolve the conflicts that upend everyday life. When their work is done, the families they serve are stronger than ever. With their new book, Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter Kukoff and Yuppa Huddy have selected the most common conversational mistakes parents make, and fixed them. For more information, please visit: https://cognitionbuilders.com. To purchase Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter visit: http://publishing.andrewsmcmeel.com/books/detail?sku=9781449488055.
DISTRIBUTED BY ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION