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Being the emotional supporter:

Navigating tough losses with your child

Introduction

As a parent, you've more than likely become familiar with helping your child after losses, during slumps, or through an injury. You may not always know the right words to say to your child in these moments of discouragement or disappointment, but you can ask yourself questions to help find the right message at the right time.

In this module, you'll identify ways that you can prepare yourself for these conversations, review talking points you should avoid, and develop an awareness to help you navigate the conversation when you and your child are ready.

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Do's and Don'ts

DO allow yourself time to process the difficult situation before addressing it with your child. A composed parent is more adept at creating space for their child's experience.

DON'T assume you're the best person to have the conversation with your child. Their teammates or coaches might also be well-positioned to help manage the emotions with them.

DO recognize your athlete might need a moment to collect themselves, too.

DON'T jump right into conversation. It might not be the right time or place.

DO seek feedback from your child's coaches and know that feedback is a tool for improvement, not a mark against you personally.

DON'T compare yourself to others. Instead, learn from their strengths as atool to enhance your own.

DO reflect on your challenges,and determine what you learned from the difficulty. This will point you in the direction of making each situation better.

DON'T focus on the result. Doing so brings your attention to things you can't control and distracts you from actions you can take to improve.

Parent,

Evaluate this:

The competition recently ended. Your child was winning for the entirety of the competition and then lost the lead at the very end. It is obvious that they are disappointed. Your mind is flooded with a million thoughts you could or should say to them at that moment. How should you proceed?


Determine if the following statements represent a more helpful or a less helpful response to the scenario above.

STATEMENT 1

I FEEL UPSET ABOUT THEIR DISSAPOINTMENT. I NEED TO COLLECT MYSELF FIRST.

MORE HELPFUL

CORRECT!

As a parent, you often have emotional responses to your child's performance, and being aware of those feelings can help you prepare yourself for a conversation.

LESS HELPFUL

TRY AGAIN!

As a parent, you often have emotional responses to your child's performances, and being more aware of your own feelings can help better prepare yourself before engaging in a conversation.

STATEMENT 2

I know what they need to fix and I am going to let them know.

MORE HELPFUL

TRY AGAIN!

As a parent, you often want to provide fixes for difficult situations, but there may be others who could provide that insight. Are these solutions better coming from a coach or a teammate? You might ask yourself, "Does this need to be said by me?"

LESS HELPFUL

CORRECT!

As a parent, you may want to provide fixes for difficult situations, but there are others who can potentially provide that insight, such as a coach or a teammate. You might ask yourself, "Does this need to be said by me?"

STATEMENT 3

We need to have this conversation now before it lingers all day.

MORE HELPFUL

CORRECT!

It is important to first consider how your child is feeling and if thisis the right time to have that conversation. You might ask yourself, "Does this need to be said by me right now?"

LESS HELPFUL

TRY AGAIN!

Considering how your child is feeling and if this is the right time to have that conversation is important. You might ask yourself, "Does this need to be said by me right now?"

STATEMENT 1

I FEEL UPSET ABOUT THEIR DISSAPOINTMENT. I NEED TO COLLECT MYSELF FIRST.

MORE HELPFUL

CORRECT!

As a parent, you often have emotional responses to your child's performance, and being aware of those feelings can help you prepare yourself for a conversation.

LESS HELPFUL

TRY AGAIN!

As a parent, you often have emotional responses to your child's performances, and being more aware of your own feelings can help better prepare yourself before engaging in a conversation.

STATEMENT 2

I know what they need to fix and I am going to let them know.

MORE HELPFUL

TRY AGAIN!

As a parent, you often want to provide fixes for difficult situations, but there may be others who could provide that insight. Are these solutions better coming from a coach or a teammate? You might ask yourself, "Does this need to be said by me?"

LESS HELPFUL

CORRECT!

As a parent, you may want to provide fixes for difficult situations, but there are others who can potentially provide that insight, such as a coach or a teammate. You might ask yourself, "Does this need to be said by me?"

STATEMENT 3

We need to have this conversation now before it lingers all day.

MORE HELPFUL

CORRECT!

It is important to first consider how your child is feeling and if thisis the right time to have that conversation. You might ask yourself, "Does this need to be said by me right now?"

LESS HELPFUL

TRY AGAIN!

Considering how your child is feeling and if this is the right time to have that conversation is important. You might ask yourself, "Does this need to be said by me right now?"

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