Parents would do anything for their children, but oftentimes it’s what they teach kids to do for themselves that will help them grow into well-rounded adults, who are equipped to face life’s challenges with courage and grit.
Try as you may, you can’t shield your kids from struggles forever, but you can make it easier for them by helping build their positivity and resilience at a young age!
Letting them make mistakes, while being there to help pull themselves up, learn, and move on is an essential life skill. It’s always good to remember, as a popular parenting proverb goes, that you are “raising an adult and not a child.”
Here are a few five tips worth trying, according to some parenting experts.
1. Build their confidence by not being controlling
Self-help author Laura Markham, Ph. D. cautions parents, in an article on Psychology Today, from hovering or being overprotective, as it is counterproductive to raising kids who are self-assured and open to learning new things.
2. Trust them to do manageable tasks at a young age
One of the best ways for them to learn is when they do things for themselves. But remember: encourage them to keep trying when they fail, assuring them that it’s a natural part of the learning process. Make sure to acknowledge their efforts as being just as important as desired results.
3. Prioritize E.Q. just as much as I.Q.
While academic excellence is to be encouraged, raising kids who are emotionally intelligent and resilient is just as important. Help them manage their emotions, especially the overwhelming ones. Dr. Kenneth Barish’s advice is to carve out a specific schedule in your day, like 10 minutes before bedtime, to talk about what they’re thinking or feeling and helping them navigate whatever currently upsets them.
4. Don’t give them all the answers
As a loving parent, it may be tempting to solve all of your child’s problems for them, but doing so can sometimes rob them of a learning opportunity.
Dr. Barish believes it is important to focus on the “how” instead of “why.”
For instance, if your child comes to you to confess that they broke their new toy and you respond by asking “why?,” chances are their answer will be something like: “Because I was not careful.” Though it’s healthy for them to acknowledge mistakes, it’s also vital for parents to encourage them to solve problems by asking “how?” In the said example, if you ask your child “how will you fix the broken toy?,” it not only stimulates their critical thinking, it also reassures them that they are capable of moving past their mistake.
Start with the small things in order to prepare them to face life’s bigger challenges as they grow up.
5. Be a role model
It can’t be stressed enough that parents who model positivity and emotional resilience will most likely encourage kids to develop the same values. It’s one thing to tell your child to “never give up”, but it’s a whole lot better to live this attitude in your own life each day.
“You cannot say to a child you want them to control their emotions, while you yourself are flipping out,” advises psychotherapist Lynn Lyons in an interview with PsychCentral.
Avoid negative words to come out of your mouth and show them the importance of positive self-talk, which is the result of consistently seeing the bright side of every situation.
READ: 7 Consistent habits to raise genuinely kind-hearted kids
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