3 Ways To Raise A Resilient Child Who Can Cope With Uncertainty And Challengesby Kitty Elicay .
A year of quarantine has made parents worried about the pandemic’s effect on their children — they think the little ones will grow up anxious, lacking social skills, and fearful of others. But moms and dads can turn things around by instilling a growth mindset in their kids.
Psychologist Carol Dweck, Ph.D. coined the term, which is rooted in the belief that abilities are acquired and developed through effort, dedication, learning, and mentorship from others. When children acquire this kind of mindset, they view everything as an opportunity – weakness can be turned into strength and failure is not a death sentence but rather a prerequisite to success.
How to raise a resilient child
A growth mindset builds resilience and grit, which kids need in order to overcome challenges and dispel negative emotions. In an article by Parents, Karen M. Allen, a mindset coach and mom of a 9-year-old, shares three important tips so your child can start thinking positively amid the uncertainties:
1. Put a visual on success.
When faced with new things, some children will automatically think, “It’s too hard.” Allen suggests showing them a visual guide of their successes to boost their confidence.
To do this, get a piece of paper and put an X on the left side. Write a list of things that your kids were unable to do at first, such as writing their name or reading a book. Ask your child if they can do these skills now and if they answer yes, put a smiley face opposite that skill.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Point at the space between the skill and the smiley face and ask your child what he did in between those two points. For Allen, her son replied with, “I don’t know, I guess I just kept trying,” and the mom rephrased it to, “So you mean you practiced?”
If he says yes, draw a dotted line to connect the skill and the smiley face. This will show your child that it takes practice and effort to achieve a goal. It will inspire them to try again and again because it can lead to positive results.
2. Let them pause and take a step backward.
Trying again and again with no success can cause frustration to build up. It’s what parents often see in a distance learning setup. When this happens, Allen suggests letting your child pause and take a “three-step brain break.”
The first step is to relocate. Physically remove your child from the aggravating setting — put the laptop to sleep and get him away from his study area. A change in scenery is good for the brain, so let him pause, look out the window, or go to another area of the house to help his mind shift in a different direction.
The second step is release. Ask him what is going on so he can vent his feelings or even cry it out if it gets too overwhelming. If he doesn’t want to talk, he can also express himself through writing, drawing, or journaling. Or encourage him to do physical activities to dispel the negative energy.CONTINUE READING BELOWwatch now
The last step is rest. Let him relax on the couch or on his bed and do absolutely nothing. If he falls asleep, let him take a quick nap. It can do wonders for his mood and recharge him so he’s ready to try again!
3. Embrace his mistakes.
Children become scared of failure because they are scared of how mom and dad will react. Allen says one of the most effective ways to build resilience starts with two simple words: “It’s OK.”
Reassure them so that they can let go of embarrassment and learn from the experience but help them at the same time to tackle the problem in concrete, proactive ways.
For example, their exam comes back with a low score. Instead of nagging, ask them which parts they don’t understand and let them show you how they solved it so you understand where they got stuck.
If you stay calm and supportive, they’ll see that getting low grades isn’t the end of the world. Instead, it’s a sign that they need help, and that you are there to help them.
For kids to be brave, it's important that you let them face their fears. Click here for tips.
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