When Your Child is Self-Sabotaging....

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Good Morning!

We thought we would run this post this morning because we know there are many frustrating moments when parents feel like their child hits a wall or a block and is self-sabotaging. What do I mean here? I mean that your child keeps having a major resistance to what is truly best for them or is engaging in self-sabotaging or self-defeating behavior…or that you keep stating something to your child, and trying to lead them down a healthy path for themselves, but for some reason, they are still not “getting it.” We have come up with a simple 8 step plan to help your child to regain focus on what is most important and to begin to change their approach to whatever the area is and to begin to remove the self-sabotaging behavior.

  1. Ask the child what is going on for this type of thing to be happening, and get to the root of their role in whatever it is and what that role looks like…If you can pinpoint the block or the wall they are hitting inside themselves - try to lead them to see the wall or the block… and help them to recognize they have one…

  2. Explain to them the reason why you are having this conversation and what you see the problem to be (if they cannot figure it out). Explain to them where you see the self-defeating or self-sabotaging behavior, as well as the wall or block you think they are hitting.

  3. Ask them what they think about the problem or block inside of themselves, what they can do better, and what concrete actions they can take to solve the problem, or to change the situation in a positive way…if they cannot think of ways, help them to “brainstorm” ways to overcome the problem and the block inside of themselves.

  4. Explain and reaffirm the child’s value and worth. If the issue is something serious, help the child to realize that they are not truly loving themselves if they are constantly making this bad choice or engaging in the action that is hurtful towards them. Explain how that is hurtful, and help them to see things in a new way. Have them tell you how they can better love themselves in this and do what is really good for them and healthy for them. If needed, help them come up with a concrete plan and stand by them as they take action. If they are very attached to the wall they have built inside themselves or the block that has been there and are afraid to let go of it, help them to know it is okay to take down the wall and to let go of whatever is blocking them from truly being themselves and truly caring for themselves. Explain to them that by allowing this block inside themselves to exist and stay that they are not truly caring for themselves or allowing themselves to grow into their full potential, and they are hindering themselves from fully using their gifts and talents, and from experiencing the goodness of life, and all that God has to offer them in life. Also explain to them that by truly being themselves and truly caring for themselves, they are more able to be who they are to be for everyone else in their lives.

  5. Reaffirm them in the knowledge and the fact that you truly love them, and am only having these difficult conversations with them because you truly love them and care about them.

  6. Follow-up with them on the actions they said they would take, as well as their growth, and mindset about the topic/issue. See if things have begun to change… if not, repeat the above process digging deeper into the problem, until all areas have been addressed.

  7. Accept your child for who they are, while still challenging them to put their best self forward out into the world, while continuing to create themselves, and living out who they truly are and to share their gifts and talents with the world and others.

  8. Always act in love and say what you are saying to your child out of love for them.

Mary Grenchus