Even though you can work on your resilience at any age, people who have learned the ability to develop mental strength in early childhood have a significant advantage when they are adults. This is why it is so crucial for you as a parent to consider how you can strengthen your child’s resilience. Unfortunately, even today, there are still common parenting habits that have exactly the opposite effect and rob children of their mental strength.
The following are ten behaviors that you should take to heart if you want to give your child the opportunity to become mentally strong so that he or she can master difficult situations in life.
1. Reject victim mentality
If your child has failed a math test or is not placed at the next football match, it does not mean that your child will be a victim. Defeats and disappointments are part of life. Even if the circumstances are unfair or harsh, show understanding, but reject the canon of self-pity that your child may adopt. Instead, show him positive ways he can take to find a solution instead of feeling sorry for himself.
2. Avoid feelings of guilt
A No should remain a No. With this, you demonstrate steadfastness and clarity. Moreover, giving in can cause guilt feelings in your child because she notices that you are acting against your convictions. All parents sometimes feel guilty. However, it is vital to prevent this guilt from affecting your judgment and your ability to make decisions. Stick to your choices, even if you sometimes have to struggle with feelings of guilt.
3. Do not let fear guide you
Of course, you want to protect your child at all costs, also to spare you fear. However, if you are too overprotective, your child will become insecure. To encourage your child to be more courageous, you should set an example and help him to overcome fear. Let your child go on its own journey of discovery to experience the world first-hand.
4. Avoid perfectionism
Children are by nature eager to meet the expectations of their parents. It is, therefore, essential to set appropriate expectations for your child, neither too low nor too high. It becomes especially problematic when parents expect children to do tasks perfectly. Perfection signals to your child that there is no point in trying or trying to do something.
But this is precisely what is required for sustainable learning, success, and thus the development of mental strength. Make it clear to your child that she does not have to be the best in everything he or she does. Instead, support her to be a little better today than yesterday.
5. Teach your child to take responsibility
If you want to educate your child to be a responsible adult, the only way to do this is to give him responsibility early on. A simple but often completely neglected option is to do simple household tasks: let your child pack his or her own lunch, assign him some daily tasks such as setting the table, preparing a simple meal, or doing the dishes.
Explain to your child that you expect them to maintain and care for their sports equipment or music equipment themselves, but always offer to ask for your help when necessary. And here you are then in charge: make sure that you have time and willingness to help.
6. Show your child that painful experiences are part of life
All parents naturally want their child to have a carefree and happy childhood. The fact is, however, that suffering and going through difficult situations is a part of life. Children also need the first-hand experience in dealing with feelings such as grief and fear.
It is crucial always to offer the child the opportunity to talk about them. In this way, she learns to articulate and understand his feelings clearly. At the same time, she has an outlet for the negative thoughts that may be associated with them, which circulate in her head.
7. Do not feel permanently responsible for your child’s feelings
Many parents make the mistake of constantly feeling accountable for their children’s feelings and well-being. They cheer their children up when they seem sad, try to entertain their children when they are bored, and try to calm them down when they are moody and angry. It is important to accept that every child has a right to his own feelings.
However, where parents can provide critical support, it is vital to learn how their child can deal with the moods and how best to react to the various external influences that cause a bad mood. In this way, the child learns one of the most critical prerequisites for resilience: the ability to regulate his feelings.
8. Do not prevent your child from making mistakes
Whether you’re constantly correcting your child’s homework or checking her school bag every morning to make sure nothing has been forgotten, all of this helps ensure that your child makes no mistakes.
However, you are not doing your child any favors. Only those who make mistakes learn to deal with the consequences – one of life’s most important lessons. Allow mistakes and defeats consciously and offer your child support for the consequences. In this way, your child learns that mistakes are opportunities to become smarter and stronger. At the same time, it strengthens trust and respect between you and your child.
9. Never confuse discipline with punishment
Punishment should cause suffering. Discipline, on the other hand, is about teaching children to do better next time. Those who punish raise children who are afraid to deal with challenges and difficult situations.
Discipline, on the other hand, shows ways to make better choices each time, making them more resilient and self-confident. Live self-discipline and teach your child that everyone can stay on course through discipline. Your child will learn that self-discipline is a prerequisite for stamina to achieve long-term goals.
10. Do not lose sight of your values
Make sure that your priorities match your values. If respect is one of your most essential values, live up to it by giving respect to others. If discipline is important to you, prove how an orderly daily routine looks like by managing your time. Let your values flow into your child’s education so that your son or daughter receives the strength they need to lead a meaningful life.
It is essential to exemplify mental strength within the family – no matter how small it is. Mentally strong children have mentally strong parents.
So be a good role model and train your own mental strength regularly. Live your values and cultivate healthy habits such as mindfulness, openness, gratitude, and mental and physical fitness. Challenge each other and your family to become mentally stronger so that the close relationship between you and your child can be based on absolute trust and respect.
In this way, you create the best conditions for your child to develop the greatest possible resilience.