Have you heard a child say, “I can’t do this!” or “This is too hard” or “I give up?” Sadly, many kids now easily give up when faced with a challenging situation. They break down in adversity and get stuck without trying to do anything about the problem. Most parents come to their children’s rescue to help without realizing that this “helping behavior” could be hindering their kids from achieving success.
When kids struggle, they develop their persistence and problem-solving skills that increase their confidence to achieve more on their own. To struggle may not be a comfortable and pleasant situation anyone could be in, however, it is in these circumstances that children grow and reach their full potential.
So how can parents raise resilient children?
LET THEM MAKE MISTAKES. Encourage your children to take risks, keep trying and get back up when they fail, instead of saving them from any challenges or blaming them for their mistakes. Let them see the consequences of their actions and learn from their experiences. Always be mindful about how you talk to your children and remember to be inspiring and encouraging, not over indulging or inhibiting.
PRAISE THEIR EFFORTS. Focus on praising children’s efforts, strategies, and progress, rather than just the result of their actions. Doing the latter can create “praise junkies” who will always look for approval for their achievements. Kids who receive empty praises may feel bad about themselves when they fail because they are no longer “good.” Next time your child gets a good grade in his test, try saying, “You exerted an effort in studying everyday for the test,” instead of just, “Good job!”
TEACH THEM TO LOOK FOR SOLUTIONS. Allow your child to think of possible solutions and to analyze potential consequences, instead of solving the problem for him. Ask your child, “What can you do or what may happen if you take the action?” Shifting your child’s focus from problem to solution is an important step in helping your child bounce back from challenging situations.
PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH. Any child looks up to their parents as his role model. Make sure to show resilience and respond well when faced with a challenging situation. Be careful about what you say when you are feeling pressured. Your child is a copycat. Make him see and copy behaviors that you expect to see in them, too.