6 Ways To Help Little Ones Excel At Activities Even When They Resist Help

Kid playing on the monkey bars with mother in public park

It’s a common scenario: your child is struggling with an activity they enjoy but resists your attempts to help. This can be frustrating for both of you. However, with the right approach, you can support your child’s growth and learning without stepping on their toes. Here’s how to gently guide them towards improvement in any activity, from sports to music to academic subjects.

1. Understand the Source of Resistance

Before intervening, try to understand why your child resists help. Are they feeling pressured? Embarrassed? Understanding their feelings can guide your approach, making your support more effective and welcome.

2. Encourage Self-Assessment

Help your child learn to evaluate their own performance. Ask open-ended questions like, “What part of this activity is fun for you? What parts are tough?” This can help them reflect and may open doors for you to offer help.

3. Set Achievable Goals

Work with your child to set small, manageable goals that lead to larger achievements. Celebrating these small victories can boost their confidence and openness to assistance.

4. Be a Cheerleader, Not a Coach

Focus on encouragement over direct instruction. Praise their effort rather than the outcome. This positive reinforcement can make them more receptive to suggestions and improvement.

5. Create a Learning-Friendly Environment

Ensure that the learning environment is positive and free from undue pressure. The right atmosphere can make learning more enjoyable and less stressful.

6. Lead by Example

Demonstrate your own willingness to learn and improve at your activities. Seeing you engage in learning and accepting help can inspire them to do the same.

Every child’s learning curve is unique, and as parents, our support needs to be just as personalized. By understanding your child’s perspective and adapting your approach, you can help them not only improve in their chosen activities but also learn valuable lessons about perseverance and personal growth.