Myth Busting: The truth about a Coping Skills Toolbox


A typical pattern we hear from parents working to help their child end the meltdown cycle is to focus on their child’s coping skills. 

When you’re in the middle of surviving this cycle you can get stuck in throwing things at the wall to see what sticks…

…So, here’s what the cycle looks like: your child has a meltdown.

You try to help them through it.

While they’re melting down, you’re teaching them to use a skill, and they refuse to use it in the moment…

So, you try to talk about it later…

…and when the next meltdown comes, your child refuses again, and you do it all over again… and again… and again… for all eternity… 

…it seriously feels like it will be, because when you feel this reactive, it’s jarring to think about how your child would ever stop their meltdown behavior.

When your child isn’t consistent with their coping skills it’s quite frustrating to say the very least.

The most aggravating part of it for most parents, however, is that this is a typical pattern that is perpetuated by therapists in the mental health field.

That’s right, we hear from parents all.the.time. that their kid’s therapist is just getting a quick run down from the week before, teaching a skill to their recent problem, and sending them on their merry way.

The premise is that with multiple skills to use, your child will be able to find one that will work in the moment… the next moment that seems similar to the one discussed in therapy.

There’s a huge problem with this strategy, however.

This is reactive care. Reactive parenting met with reactive care perpetuates…

…you guessed it, a reactive kid.

The truth is, often children don’t know HOW to use a skill.

Not how to breathe in and out. 

But HOW to be when it’s time to use the skill.

The how regarding:

The emotional state it’s appropriate for.

The emotional state that’s aimed for upon use.

The emotional availability required to use a skill.

The type of skill given their emotional skill level.

This is not something that can be taught reactively. 

You need to address it systematically. 

Because without that system, you will lose momentum as your child struggles.

Your kid will never use the skill well enough until they use it well enough. 

It’s up to you to maintain the stamina as they learn to be consistent with their skills. It’s up to your child to LEARN to be consistent. 

That means inconsistency is inevitable at the beginning.

And your stamina is crucial to your child’s success.

If you’re ready to break your child out of this cycle, I encourage you to book your call to speak with my team HERE.


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