Coping with Setbacks

From the Show: Healthy Children
Summary: Help your kids gain the skills to navigate setbacks.
Air Date: 5/7/19
Duration: 13:33
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Arthur Lavin, MD, FAAP
Dr. Arthur LavinArthur Lavin, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician in private practice and an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Case Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, the entity of the Academy charged with developing policy relating to the psychological and social well-being of the children of America.

He is the co-author of two books on parenting: Who’s the Boss? Moving Families from Conflict to Collaboration (2nd Ed., Collaboration Press, 2010) and Babies and Toddlers Sleep Solutions for Dummies (Kindle Edition, Wiley, 2007).

Dr. Lavin was trained and taught at Harvard and MIT, including training by Dr. T. Berry Brazelton. He has served on a number of national committees of the American Academy of Pediatrics and published original research in such journals as Science.   

In regard to his interest in neuroscience, Dr. Lavin was the first doctor in the United States to make neuroscience proven working memory training available in the United States.

Dr. Lavin also serves on the national panel of experts devoted to the identification of neurotoxins that play an important role in neurodevelopmental damage resulting in the appearance of autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, and learning disorders in children known as Project TENDR (Targeting NeuroDevelopmental Risks)

Dr. Lavin is married and has three children, one married and two identical twins.
Coping with Setbacks
Setbacks and failures can be educational, but you hate to see your child experience disappointment.

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It’s important to differentiate between traumatic events and disappointments. Traumatic events are usually harmful and result in a permanent change of one’s psychological makeup. Disappointments come from reaching for something and falling short of that goal.

Children manage disappointments differently over time. Youngsters may be upset and take action; shouting, hitting, crying. As they grow older, they may think about how things could be different.

Invite discussion about the disappointment. Let your child come up with answers. Change the language to suit your child’s age and maturity level.

  • "I see that you (had an action) when you (experienced disappointment)."
  • "I think you did that because you (experienced disappointment). Is that right?"
  • "Next time you (experience disappointment), what would be a better way to let us know you’re disappointed?"
Listen as Dr. Arthur Lavin joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss how to help your kids cope with setbacks.


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