Keeping our Teens Drug and Alcohol Free

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Your Child Reacts: Now What?

60 Second Conversation Starter

When your child is faced with a challenge or opportunity is their first reaction to shut down, jump to a conclusion, or act out in some way?

Even though your child may not have control over their gut reaction to a situation, they do have the ability to choose what to do next.

How do you help your child bridge the gap between their initial reaction and a thoughtful follow up response? Ask them to reflect on a few questions, such as:

  • How do I feel right now? And why?
  • What do I know and what do I need to know about the challenge or situation?
  • Who can help?
  • What do I want the outcome of the situation to be?

When you help your child reflect, they can begin to evaluate their reactions and move with small, deliberate steps in the direction they want to go.

Source: The Greater Good Science Center, UC Berkeley

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