Life is naturally full of problems and setbacks, and instilling in children the ability to overcome those problems — also known as resilience — is every parent’s responsibility. A resilient child will grow up to be a resilient adult who knows how to recover from even the toughest disappointments instead of simply wallowing in them.
5 phrases to avoid if you want to raise a resilient child
The things that parents do and say can have a big impact on the values children develop. To raise a resilient child, it’s important to determine the balance between supporting your child and simply ironing out all of your child’s problems on his behalf. Avoiding these five phrases to build resilience in your little one.
1. “You’re fine.”
Instead, try: “I see that you’re upset, and that’s okay.”
The phrase “You’re fine” may sound like a well-meaning attempt to calm down your child, but according toMotherly, it might also end up making your child feel like it’s not okay for him to feel upset or frustrated. Instead, inform him that his big emotions are okay and that he can overcome them.
Instead, try: “Do you need help figuring this out?”
Allowing your child to experience difficult situations will teach him that he can figure his problems out by himself. Of course, there are times when you’ll have to intervene but find the balance between helping your child and solving his problems for him. If he’s struggling with tying his shoelaces, show him how to do one shoe then encourage him to do the other.
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3. “This is too hard for you.”
Instead, try: “Maybe you can try doing this other thing instead.”
Sometimes kids want to try doing things that they are not ready for, maybe because they saw you or someone else doing it before. Instead of saying, “This is too hard for you,” which can send a message that you think he is incapable, focus on directing his attention toward an activity that is more developmentally-appropriate for him. With some practice, he might eventually be able to do that other difficult task.
Being a resilient adult is one of the best ways to raise a resilient child. Parentsadvises moms and dads to let their little ones see them going through struggles and handling them calmly — taking a few deep breaths, stepping outside for a moment, practicing meditation, and trying again after a failure.
5. “Be careful.”
Instead, try: Standing close to him
One of the reasons why parents are encouraged to stop saying “Be careful” to their kids is that it can send a child the message that they are not safe. If you think your little one might get hurt while climbing a slide or a ladder while playing, simply try standing close to him if he needs your help. This will encourage his ability to determine when a situation is unsafe and when it’s okay to take a little risk.
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