Tag Archives: Frank Sileo

Mindfulness: The Art of the Pause (Guest: Dr. Frank Sileo)

Chances are you’ve heard the term “mindfulness.” It is a popular type of therapeutic treatment employed by mental health professionals. But its practice in a casual and relaxed everyday form can be refreshing and quite helpful. Listen in as Dr. James Sutton interviews psychologist Dr. Frank Sileo in this program entitled “Mindfulness: The Art of the Pause.”

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Few folks would argue the fact that, in this fast-paced world today, it pays to step briefly out of the pressure and drive, to pause to recharge and to appreciate all that is near us and with us here and now.

The Cost

Unfortunately, that pause, that reflective moment in time, doesn’t happen often enough. Life in the quick lane continues on, and we are so easily distracted by it. In cases of sustained, non-stop effort, pressure and activity, a cost can appear in the form of characteristics like anxiety, excessive worry, depression, and impulsive (and compulsive) thoughts, decisions and behaviors that bring more trouble than relief.

And it affects children and teens, not just adults.

What’s the Solution?

As one intervention, mental health professionals suggest the practice of mindfulness, the art of taking that reflective pause or break to reframe and step away from stressful situations in order to account for that which is positive and good. In fact, mindfulness is a popular form of therapeutic treatment today, and it’s proving to be effective across all age groups.

As our guest, psychologist and author Dr. Frank Sileo, puts it, it’s a look at all the “pausabilities.” In his new children’s book beautifully illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin, A World of Pausabilities: An Exercise in Mindfulness, he encourages youngsters to find those creative moments to pause, reflect on, and more fully appreciate the simple beauty of all that is around them every single day. What a great and timely topic for this program!

Dr. Frank Sileo

Dr. Sileo is a licensed psychologist and founder and executive director of the Center for Psychological Enhancement in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Since 2010, Frank has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s top kids’ doctors. He has written a number of children’s books on topics that inform as they entertain, and they will be discussed in this program. (33:55)

www.drfranksileo.com

TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Link as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


(START/STOP Audio)

 

Helping Kids with Self-Confidence (Guest: Dr. Frank Sileo)

Radio-style Interview, The Changing Behavior NetworkYoungsters that struggle with self-confidence have difficulty in most areas requiring performance and achievement. In this program from our archives, psychologist Dr. Frank Sileo discusses issues youngsters can face regarding self-confidence and how they can be helped and encouraged.
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Helping Kids with Self-Confidence, Frank J. SileoHow Much Do They Need?

How much self-confidence does a child or adolescent need? “Enough to function,”some might say.

But is that really true? Is that all we want for our children, enough self-confidence to function, to barely get by? No, we want more that that for them. We want them to have the ability to handle the challenges of life as they come, without being sidetracked by doubt or feelings of being less than capable.

And we want them to THRIVE, and we want them to encourage others to do the same.

Helping the Child That Struggles

But what about the youngster with poor self-confidence? What are the signs that tell us a child or teen is struggling? What can we do to help this youngster handle daily challenges or unique and new situations more effectively? How do we help him or her interpret a few mistakes as part of learning a new skill, and how do we encourage them not to beat themselves up with negative self-talk?

Don't Put Yourself Down in Circus Town, Frank J. SileoListen in to this excellent program as your host, Dr. James Sutton, interviews prominent child and adolescent psychologist, Dr. Frank J. Sileo, regarding issues of self-confidence in young people. It’s a timely topic, anytime.

Dr. Frank J. Sileo

Dr. Sileo is the founder and director of the Center for Psychological Enhancement in Ridgewood, New Jersey. And, since 2010, he has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s top kid doctors. Dr. Sileo has written numerous articles on a variety of topics related to mental health, and he has also written a number children’s picture books. One of them, Sally Sore Loser: A Story About Winning and Losing, was awarded a Gold Medal from the prestigious Moms’ Choice Awards. The focus of this program is his picture book for kids entitled Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town: A Story About Self-Confidence. (27:41)

www.drfranksileo.com

TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Link as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


(START/STOP Audio)

 

Helping Kids with Self-Confidence (Guest: Dr. Frank J. Sileo)

BTRadioIntDr. Frank J. Sileo is not only a top psychologist in New Jersey, he has written a number of books for children on topics that affect them. This interview focuses on self-confidence as it pertains to young people. Welcome to an interview with Dr. Sileo entitled, “Helping Kids with Self-Confidence.”

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Helping Kids with Self-Confidence, Frank J. SileoHow Much Do They Need?

How much self-confidence does a child or adolescent need? “Enough to function,”some might say.

But is that really true? Is that all we want for our children, enough self-confidence to function, to barely get by? No, we want more that that for them. We want them to have the ability to handle the challenges of life as they come, without being sidetracked by doubt or feelings of being less than capable.

And we want them to THRIVE, and we want them to encourage others to do the same.

Helping the Child That Struggles

But what about the youngster with poor self-confidence? What are the signs that tell us a child or teen is struggling? What can we do to help this youngster handle daily challenges or unique and new situations more effectively? How do we help him or her interpret a few mistakes as part of learning a new skill, and how do we encourage them not to beat themselves up with negative self-talk?

Don't Put Yourself Down in Circus Town, Frank J. SileoListen in to this excellent program as your host, Dr. James Sutton, interviews prominent child and adolescent psychologist, Dr. Frank J. Sileo, regarding issues of self-confidence in young people. It’s a timely topic, anytime.

Dr. Frank J. Sileo

Dr. Sileo is the founder and director of the Center for Psychological Enhancement in Ridgewood, New Jersey. And, since 2010, he has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s top kid doctors. Dr. Sileo has written numerous articles on a variety of topics related to mental health, and he has also written five children’s picture books (with more on the way). One of them, Sally Sore Loser: A Story About Winning and Losing, was awarded a Gold Medal from the prestigious Moms’ Choice Awards. His latest book, the focus of this program, is Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town: A Story About Self-Confidence. (27:41)

www.drfranksileo.com

TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Link as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


(START/STOP Audio)

 

Kids and Summer Camp: Coping with Homesickness (Guest: Dr. Frank Sileo)

BTRadioIntAs schools close for the summer across the country, thoughts turn to activities for kids and families. One of those activities is summer camp. Here’s an earlier interview I did with child and adolescent psychologist, Dr. Frank Sileo, regarding something that might be an issue for some youngsters, especially first-time campers. We present “Kids and Summer Camp: Coping with Homesickness.” –JDS

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Bug Bites and Campfires: Coping with Homesickness, Dr. Frank SileoThe excitement of going off to summer camp and all the fun it brings can be offset by a first-time camper’s anxiety about leaving home. Summer camp and homesickness are real, indeed.

Feelings of homesickness are typical; most youngsters experience them the first time they spend the night away from the familiarity of home, family, pets and long-time friendships. Although it is a common type of separation anxiety, homesickness doesn’t feel common at all to the youngster caught up in it.

Our guest on this program, Dr. Frank Sileo, will offer insights and ideas for addressing feelings of homesickness. He will also share ways parents can help their child become more capable and confident BEFORE the youngster goes off to camp, often preventing many of the symptoms and experiences of homesickness.

Bug Bites and Campfires, Dr. Frank Sileo, Bug Bites and Campfires: Coping with HomesicknessDr. Sileo is the author of the children’s book, Bug Bites and Campfires: A Story for Kids About Homesickness. It’s a great example of evidence-based treatment wrapped up in a great story.

Dr. Sileo is the Executive Director of The Center for Psychological Enhancement in Ridgewood, New Jersey. He has been recognized time and time again for his skill as a child and adolescent therapist and his abilities as a speaker and author. (26:55)

http://www.drfranksileo.com

TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Target as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


(START/STOP Audio)

 

Coping With Grief and Loss During the Holidays (Dr. Frank Sileo)

FSileophoto2The holidays can be difficult when you have experienced a loss. The loss can be a person, a pet, a job or a relationship. Culturally, we have learned that holidays are supposed to be filled with love, happiness, family, friends and get-togethers. When you have experienced a loss of some kind, getting through the holidays can be difficult. The feelings of grief can become intensified. You may be filled with memories of times go by or feelings of hopelessness for the future. There are ways to cope with loss and grief during the holiday season.

Things You Can Do

DO go easy on yourself. Understand that getting over a loss takes time. Be patient with yourself and with others. Prioritize things. If making cookies is something good for you to do, then do it. If not, pass on it this year.
DO understand that the holiday with be different. No matter how hard you try to make the holiday the same, you and those around you will still experience loss and feelings of grief. We need to understand that some parts of the holidays will need to change (for instance, Grandpa won’t be carving the turkey this year). The first holiday without a loved one is always the hardest. Acknowledging that the holiday will be different, and planning ahead for the change, may make it less painful.
snowgraveDO allow yourself to express your feelings. Grief is a painful feeling and grieving is a process that takes time. Talk about your feelings with a loved one, family member or a friend. Keeping your feelings inside is not healthy for your emotional and physical well-being. Ignoring your feelings won’t make them go away. Some people find it helpful to write their feelings into a journal. This compartmentalizes the feelings and allows you time to grieve and then time to engage in other activities.
DO plan ahead. When we plan ahead we may be able to target some, if not all, of the stressors of the holidays. Decide which traditions you wish to continue. Plan how you want to use your time so that you avoid feelings overwhelmed by last-minute details. Not planning ahead can exacerbate these feelings that you may already be experiencing due to grief. Plan ahead on how you want to remember your loved ones.
DO embrace memories. Death can never take away memories of a loved one. Holidays make us reminisce on the past. Share the memories with family and friends. Understand that memories may bring up sadness and well as happiness and joy. If the memories make you happy, it’s okay to smile and laugh. Good and sad memories may cause us to feel sadness and cry. It’s important to let out both positive and difficult feelings.

Things You Should NOT Do

DO NOT try to act like everything is okay when it’s not. Sometimes during the holidays we feel a sense of responsibility to make it “perfect” for others, such as spouses, in-laws and children. No one is expecting this except you. During the holidays, the grief can be activated more intensely than any other time of the year. Expect there are going to be moments when you’ll be sad, angry and frustrated about someone you love. When we pretend everything is okay, we do not allow others to see how we are really doing, and it doesn’t allow others to step in and help us in our grieving process.
DO NOT feel guilty. Holidays can be joyful times. Do not feel guilty for having fun, laughing and enjoying the company of others during the holiday season. If you send out cards and decorate your home, it may be your way of coping with grief. It is not disrespectful to your loved one to carry on traditions. These traditions may help you in the grief process. Also, do not feel guilty about eliminating something or a tradition during the holidays because it’s too painful. If you need to say “No” or pass along certain responsibilities, don’t beat yourself up over it. You loved ones and friends will understand.
DO NOT be afraid to reminisce. Talking with friends and family about times gone by is a wonderful way to remember your loved one. Sharing memories keeps your loved one very much a part of your life even if they are not physically present any longer. Ask others to reminisce with you. They may be able to share memories that you were not aware of, memories that keep them close to your heart.
DO NOT be afraid to cry or share your feelings. Grieving typically involves many feelings, and these feelings may be expressed in crying. When we try too hard to hold feelings inside of us, there’s a chance that our emotions may overwhelm us. We may feel as we may be having an emotional breakdown. It is healthy to let your feelings out. Sometimes people worry that crying will upset others or that once they start, the tears will never stop. Crying is a sign that something is hurting us. Tell others that you might cry, and not to worry.
DO NOT try to replicate the past. When we lose someone we love, change is inevitable. Holidays, in particular, are going to be different. Maintain traditions that work for you; stop those that don’t. Be open to new traditions. When we become rigid on recreating what once was, we will be disappointed. You cannot go back. You have to keep moving forward. Moving forward does not mean forgetting your loved one. ###

Dr. Frank Sileo, founder and Executive Director of The Center for Psychological Enhancement, LLC, in Ridgewood, New Jersey, is a licensed psychologist and author specializing in work with children and adolescents [Dr. Sileo’s website]

 

Therapy Has Gone to the Dogs (Dr. Frank Sileo)

BTCounselorOver 12 years ago I adopted a Cairn terrier from a shelter. I named him Ozzie. One of the reasons I got Ozzie is because I wanted to train him to be a therapy dog in my private practice. Most therapy dogs and animals are used in settings such as nursing homes, schools and hospitals. I thought using a dog in a private practice consisting of children, adolescents and adults may help welcome them, put them at ease, and help them with their problems.

How does pet therapy help?

Many studies have shown that pet ownership has a positive impact on one’s physical and emotional health. Pets provide unconditional love and acceptance. When coming to therapy, patients often come with a myriad of emotions and problems. They may be struggling with issues of self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-acceptance.

FSileophoto2There is great power in the human/animal bond. Studies have demonstrated that when around animals, depressed people become more outgoing; children with ADHD and behavior disorders become less aggressive; and children with developmental delays or are on the autistic spectrum, become more social and their concentration improves.

From a physical health perspective, the National Institute of Health found that married couples that owned a pet had significantly lower heart rates and blood pressure levels during psychological and physical stress tests and recovered faster. Scientific studies showed that petting a dog increases the level of pleasure hormones and lowers the stress hormone cortisol. Who doesn’t smile when you see a dog wagging its tail at you?

Teaching Tool

OzzieBedHaving a dog in my practice allows me the opportunity to teach things in a different way and use the dog as another therapeutic tool. For example, some parents and kids asked why Ozzie has to stay in his bed and not wander around the room. This gives me the opportunity to discuss boundary issues and setting limits.

Sometimes couples argue in my office and Ozzie would react by shivering, whimpering and even barking. I will say to patients, “Look at the effect you are having on the dog. How do you think your children react when you start yelling like this at home?”

With Ozzie’s help, children with boundary issues learn social skills such as personal space and by following rules when it comes to petting Ozzie. They are taught where and how to pet him that is respectful to him. Children who are aggressive learn that their rough behavior with Ozzie is unacceptable and lose the privilege of being around him. This leads to discussions of bullying and taunting.

Patients who need to work on being more assertive get to first practice giving commands to Ozzie. As they gain confidence, they begin to practice with people in their lives.

For children who have difficulty naming and talking about emotions, I say to them, “Look at Ozzie’s tail. What do you think he’s feeling? How is your tail today? What would your tail be doing if you had one? Would it be wagging or between your legs (i.e., anxious, scared).

Sometimes my patients are reticent to talking about difficult topics or feelings in my office. I have often witnessed them talking to Ozzie about their problems or I have used Ozzie to talk to in order to get my patients to open up. I might say, “Nicholas looks sad today Ozzie, maybe he can talk to us about his feelings?” Sometimes when I talk to Ozzie, my child patients will laugh and therefore break the ice and allowing them to open up in therapy.

My adult patients love him too. When he takes a day off, they always ask, “Where is Ozzie?” Whether people open up to Ozzie or me, it doesn’t matter. The point is they are talking and feeling comfortable in the therapeutic room.

Change Happens

We all want to help our patients grow and change their dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors. What happens when your therapy dog changes?

Two years ago, Ozzie was diagnosed with bladder cancer. In the beginning, Ozzie had few symptoms and received chemotherapy and other treatments. Over time, Ozzie could not control his bladder, was having accidents and was tired from the treatments. It was an ethical and moral decision to retire Ozzie from the practice at this time.

I explained to my patients that Ozzie was going to retire from therapy and relax at home. This afforded my patients to talk about transitions, good-byes and other changes in their lives. This was also hard on me given that I am in solo practice. He was therapeutic for me, too!!

In 2013, Ozzie passed away after his yearlong battle with bladder cancer.

New Beginnings

CooperAfter some healing, I have decided to get another dog for our home and my practice. He is a Cairn terrier named Cooper. I like Cairn terriers because they are smart, attentive, trainable and hypoallergenic. I will begin training him through a professional school that will eventually certify him as a therapy dog.

We will have to wait some time before he’s ready to work with patients. Training and certification is a must. You cannot just bring your pet to do therapeutic work. Check into pet therapy resources online and get the proper training and certification.

I am excited about this new chapter in my personal and professional life. I am “panting” in anticipation of using Cooper with my patients! ###

 

 Dr. Frank Sileo, founder and Executive Director of The Center for Psychological Enhancement, LLC, in Ridgewood, New Jersey, is a licensed psychologist specializing in work with children and adolescents. He has written five books for children on topics including lactose intolerance, Crohn’s Disease, winning and losing, homesickness and self-confidence. His most recent book is entitled, Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town: A Story About Self-Confidence. [Dr. Sileo’s website]

 

Kids and Summer Camp: Coping with Homesickness (Guest: Dr. Frank Sileo)

BTRadioIntAs school begins to come to a close across the country, thoughts turn to summer activities for kids and families. One of those activities is summer camp. Here’s an earlier interview I did with child and adolescent psychologist, Dr. Frank Sileo, regarding something that might be an issue for some youngsters, especially first-time campers. –JDS

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FSileophoto2The excitement of going off to summer camp and all the fun it brings can be offset by a first-time camper’s anxiety about leaving home. Homesickness is real, indeed.

Feelings of homesickness are typical; most youngsters experience them the first time they spend the night away from the familiarity of home, family, pets and long-time friendships. Although it is a common type of separation anxiety, homesickness doesn’t feel common at all to the youngster caught up in it.

Our guest on this program, Dr. Frank Sileo, will offer insights and ideas for addressing feelings of homesickness. He will also share ways parents can help their child become more capable and confident BEFORE the youngster goes off to camp, often preventing many of the symptoms and experiences of homesickness.

BugbitesAndCampfiresCOVERSMDr. Sileo is the author of the children’s book, Bug Bites and Campfires: A Story for Kids About Homesickness. It’s a great example of evidence-based treatment wrapped up in a great story.

Dr. Sileo is the Executive Director of The Center for Psychological Enhancement in Ridgewood, New Jersey. He has been recognized time and time again for his skill as a child and adolescent therapist and his abilities as a speaker and author. (26:55)

http://www.drfranksileo.com

TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Target as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


(START/STOP Audio)

 

What is Self-Confidence, Anyway? (Dr. Frank Sileo)

BTSpotlightWe are featuring the work of psychologist Dr. Frank Sileo of Ridgewood, New Jersey in this post. His latest book, a children’s picture book entitled, Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town: A Story About Self-Confidence touches on a very important topic regarding many children and teens today. For more information about the book, click on the photo of the cover in this post.

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FSileophoto2Parents and other caregivers in the life of a child play an important role in developing self-confidence in that youngster and others. When parents and others accept their children, even when they make mistakes, it provides the groundwork for children to develop positive feelings and thoughts about themselves. When parents do this, they are providing the foundation for self-confidence.

As a parent or caregiver, it is very rewarding to see children exhibit self-confidence in various areas of their lives, from academics to sports to playing a musical instrument, to name just a few. Children who possess self-confidence tend to do well in school, take on challenges, do their best, persist in activities, and have an overall more positive view of themselves.

Definition

Self-confidence can be defined as our beliefs or thoughts about our skills and abilities. Examples of self-confident thoughts might be, “I am good at math,” “I am a good singer” or “I do well in school.” Children with self-confidence trust in their abilities, have realistic expectations, know their strengths and weaknesses, and are able to adjust to difficult or challenging situations. Children who possess self-confidence tend to jump into new situations with realistic thoughts about being successful at a task.

Self-confidence is built through repeated practice over time. When children practice in small steps, they build self-confidence. Persistence in a task, even when mistakes and mishaps happen, builds self-confidence. Confidence builds through action.

CircusTown_72dpiWhen There’s Difficulty

Children who lack self-confidence typically rely on the approval of others, such as parents, teachers and coaches, in order to feel good about themselves. They may avoid things or be reluctant to try new things. They may engage in self-deprecating statements or negative self-talk like, “I’m stupid,” “I’m no good at anything,” or “I’ll never succeed,” which results in feelings of anxiety, depression or despair. Children with low self-confidence often compare themselves to others constantly because they believe they do not measure up. Moreover, less confident children may be more prone to acting-out behaviors such as temper tantrums, crying, avoidance, and withdrawal from others and from tasks.

It should be noted that self-confidence is not a universal experience. For instance, children may feel confident in certain areas of their lives, while feeling less confident in other domains. An example of this might be a child that is confident as a reader, but has lower self-confidence in his or her math skills.

Building Self-Confidence

How can parents and other caregivers build self-confidence in children and teens? Here are several suggestions.

Communicate with your children. When children engage in self-deprecating statements, don’t be too quick to counteract them. Teach them coping and solutions to their problems. Problem-solve with them.

Model self-confidence for your children. Be mindful how you handle your own disappointments, obstacles and failure.

Focus on effort, not on results. When we focus on the effort, we are praising the steps needed to reach a goal, ultimately building on self-confidence.

Encourage kids to practice. The more they practice, the greater their chances of success and greater confidence. When kids don’t do this, they give up, act out, feel anxious and consequently display low self-confidence.

If you find that your child continues to struggle with confidence issues to the point that it interferes with academics, activities or relationships, it is recommended you consult with a mental health professional for further help. ###

 Dr. Frank Sileo, founder and Executive Director of The Center for Psychological Enhancement, LLC, in Ridgewood, New Jersey, is a licensed psychologist specializing in work with children and adolescents. He has written five books for children on topics including lactose intolerance, Crohn’s Disease, winning and losing, homesickness and self-confidence. His most recent book is entitled, Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town: A Story About Self-Confidence. [Dr. Sileo’s website]

 

 

Helping Kids with Self-Confidence (Guest: Dr. Frank Sileo)

BTRadioInt

 

 

FSileophoto2How much self-confidence does a child or adolescent need? Some might say: Enough to function.

But is that really true? Is that all we want for our children, enough self-confidence to function, to barely get by?  No, we want more that that for them. We want them to have the ability to handle the challenges of life as they come, without being sidetracked by doubt or feelings of being less than capable.

And we want them to THRIVE, and encourage others to do the same.

But what about the youngster with poor self-confidence? What are the signs that tell us a child or teen is struggling? What can we do to help this youngster handle daily challenges or unique and new situations more effectively? How do we help him or her interpret a few mistakes as part of learning a new skill, and how do we encourage them not to beat themselves up with negative self-talk?

CircusTown_72dpiListen in to this excellent program as your host, Dr. James Sutton, interviews prominent child and adolescent psychologist, Dr. Frank Sileo, regarding issues of self-confidence in young people. It’s a timely topic, anytime.

Dr. Sileo is the founder and director of the Center for Psychological Enhancement in Ridgewood, New Jersey. And, since 2010, he has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s top kid doctors. Dr. Sileo has written numerous articles on a variety of topics related to mental health, and he has also written five children’s picture books. One of them, Sally Sore Loser: A Story About Winning and Losing, was awarded a Gold Medal from the prestigious Moms’ Choice Awards. His latest book, the focus of this program, is Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town: A Story About Self-Confidence. (27:18)

www.drfranksileo.com

TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Link as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


(START/STOP Audio)

 

“My Child HATES to Lose!” (Dr. Frank J. Sileo)

BTQuestionsDr. Sileo: My child HATES to lose at anything. She becomes so upset that it’s difficult to talk to her about it. It’s becoming a serious problem. What can I do to help her tolerate some loss without being so tearful, angry and worked up?

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FSileophoto2It is very difficult for some kids to lose. It’s understandable for youngsters to feel sad, disappointed and angry when they don’t win at something. Kids, and even some adults, really struggle with losing. The issue of sportsmanship is what prompted me to write my children’s book, Sally Sore Loser: A Story About Winning and Losing, to teach kids about how to be a good sport.

Over the Top
It sounds like your daughter’s anger is over the top, and it seems like losing really causes her significant emotional distress. You may want to avoid talking with your daughter when she is so visibly upset. She is not going to hear or comprehend anything you are saying to her.

Tell her, “When you can calm down, then we can sit and talk about what’s making you so upset.” Give her some space in a safe area to express her feelings. When speaking calmly with her later, be sure to show her empathy by letting her know that it’s difficult to lose at things.

SallySoreLoserCover2A “Before” Talk
You may want to sit with your child and talk with her before an event, game or any other competitive activity. Talk about the rules of being a good sport and to remember that she is doing the activity to have fun. Remind her that sore losers often lose friends, also. Tell her that, even when you lose at something, you win because you get to keep friends.

Be a Role Model
As a parent, remember you are the role model, so it is important to model good sportsmanship as well. Encourage and practice being a good sport by playing board or other types of games where you practice congratulating the winner or saying, “Good game.”

Show your child how to take deep breaths and engage in self-talk like “Calm down,” “I had fun,” or “It’s only a game” when she feels anger surfacing. If she physically acts out toward others, herself or property, you should set limits and boundaries around her acting-out and impose consequences for that behavior quickly.

Look for opportunities in the media to point out good and bad sportsmanship and discuss these incidents with your daughter. If things worsen as your daughter continues to struggle, it may be time to seek the help of a licensed mental health professional to help her regulate her feelings and develop other coping skills. ###

Dr. Frank Sileo, psychologist, is the Director of The Center for Psychological Enhancement in Ridgewood, New Jersey. His book, Sally Sore Loser; A Story About Winning and Losing, was a Gold Medal recipient from the prestigious Moms’ Choice Award. [website]