When your child holds a grudge and won't let it go

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When your child holds a grudge and won't let it go

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Sometimes, kids seems to nurse grudges. What can you do to help them? Well, you can start by recognizing that there's a reason your child has a chip on his shoulder. You may not think it is a good reason, but to him there's a reason. He feels misunderstood, he feels alone in the world, he feels there is some injustice that is not been addressed. So start by connecting and try to understand exactly what it is that's causing your child to nurse this grudge. Once you connect, if your child is willing to talk with you, often you can work your way through that issue and things get better. If not, it is because your child actually has some big feelings that they need to get out about this. And sometimes kids can get those feelings out, elementary age kids can get those feelings out by telling stories about it. So maybe you make them a book about what happen that they are holding a grudge about. This incident where they feel like it was unfair and it validates their perspective but it also gives everyone else's perspective. Sometimes when you make a book like that, children ask to read it a few times and there's some sort of healing that goes on and afterwards they have a much more suspicious attitude toward whatever happen that they perceived is unfair at that time. But if your child continues to nurse a grudge, I want you to seek professional help for your child because clearly there is something they need to work out and a professional can help to get to the heart of the matter, otherwise your child is going to be growing up with a chip on his shoulder and that is not a prescription for happiness.

View Laura Markham, PhD's video on When your child holds a grudge and won't let it go...

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Laura Markham, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Laura Markham is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University and has worked as a parenting coach with countless parents across the English-speaking world, both in person and via phone. You can find Dr. Laura online at AhaParenting.com, the website of Aha! Moments for parents of kids from birth through the teen years, where you can sign up for her free daily inspiration email.  Dr. Laura lives in New York with her husband and her kids, who are now 17 and 21.

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