The unhealthy or negative approach to the goal of Withdrawal is Undue Avoidance. The healthy or positive approach is Appropriate Avoidance. A key feeling you may have that alerts you to the unhealthy approach is a feeling of Helplessness.
I’ve spoken with parents whose children have become so discouraged and their self-esteem so low that they give up trying. Their belief becomes, “I can’t succeed so I’ll avoid trying, and then I can’t fail.” Watching them creates a sense of helplessness in the parents.
Sometimes the child’s own personality leads them to become a perfectionist and sometimes the parents’ high expectations are a factor in their fear of failure.
Other times, outside influences, such as other children’s negative and critical unfounded judgment of them and actions toward them cause despair and an inability for them to believe in themselves.
No matter what your child thinks of themself, it’s imperative for you to learn how to love them unconditionally whether they succeed or fail. Look beyond their current actions and see their inner beauty that is hidden at the moment. If they are struggling in school, consider finding a school better suited to them where they can be more successful. This is what we did with our daughter in January of her Sophomore year in high school. This move was the saving grace that allowed her to graduate and go to college.
Help your child find tasks that s/he can perform successfully so s/he can begin to break the misconception of herself/himself as a loser. Share how mistakes are for learning and failure is just a lesson on the road to success. Learn how to avoid communication blocks and support your child as they try to find solutions to their struggles without judging their choices.
I always see parenting as an opportunity for my personal growth. I hope you do, too.
Copyright 2022 – Cynthia Klein, Family Happiness Expert – Coach, speaker, and author of Ally Parenting: A Non-Adversarial Approach to Transform Conflict Into Cooperation. Learn more about Cynthia’s services and contact her at her website, https://bridges2understanding.com. Contact Cynthia for permission to reproduce any information from this article.